Gap closes on dominant EA, but where are the Brits?

As the new ELSPA/ ChartTrack data reveals, EA’s total market share dropped from just over 20 per cent in 2004 to 18.2 per cent last year.

THQ, meanwhile, saw its share grow from 5.0 per cent to 7.2 per cent, with the firm leaping up the publisher league to second spot. Its performance during 2005 was led by WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2006, which charted at number 14 in the Full Year All Formats listing.

But it was THQ’s budget portfolio which pushed it ahead of US rival Activision, with children’s licences such as Scooby Doo all performing well. Activision was the number two full price publisher, thanks to a strong second half line-up, including Call of Duty 2.

The only European company in the Publisher Top 10, Ubisoft saw its market share grow to 7.0 per cent in 2005 from 5.3 per cent in’04. Its biggest hit was King Kong, ranked at number nine in the All Formats chart. Sega and Konami leapt into the top 10 publisher league table, largely due to their respective football titles Football Manager and Pro Evo 5.

But a turbulent time in the British games market clearly took its toll, with Eidos dropping out of the top 10 to number 17 and Codemasters falling three places to number 16. However, with the Lara publisher now part of the SCi Group and Codemasters re-energised with new funding and management, it’s hoped that Britsoft can once again deliver in 2006.

TOTAL SOFTWARE BY COMPANY (UNITS) 2005 - Share of the market

1.     Electronic Arts    18.5%
2.     THQ    7.2%
3.     Activision    7.1%
4.     Ubisoft    7.0%
5.     SCEE    6.2%
6.     VU Games    4.8%
7.     Take 2    4.5%
8.     Sega    3.9%
9.     Konami    3.4%
10.    Atari    3.2%

TOTAL SOFTWARE BY COMPANY (UNITS) 2004 - Share of the market

1.     Electronic Arts    20.3%
2.     Take 2    6.3%
3.     Activision    6.3%
4.     VU Games    5.8%
5.     Ubisoft    5.3%
6.     SCEE    5.1%
7.     THQ    5.0%
8.     Atari    4.6%
9.     Microsoft    3.4%
10.    Eidos    3.2


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