The headline news from this year’s GfK report is this: There were fewer games sold last year, there were fewer consoles sold last year, but accessory sales continue to rise.
Yet there are some significant victories to be found in the data from 2015, and those triumphs are largely centred around anything to do with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The combined install base for these machines – according to retail reports – now sits at 5.5 million. GfK Entertainment’s data shows that over £700 million was generated from physical software sales on both of Sony and Microsoft’s latest platforms. That’s over 75 per cent of all physical game revenue from last year.
If you look at the Top 50 on page nine, you’ll notice that almost every single game was
a PS4 or Xbox One title. The single exception being Mario Kart 8 on Wii U (there were no 3DS, Vita or PC games in the Top 50). And in terms of accessories, nine of the Top Ten were for PS4 or Xbox One.
PS4 was the dominant platform of the year once again, with the highest software and hardware sales. However, Microsoft did have the largest number of exclusive games in the charts with seven, whereas Sony just had two.
In terms of new IP, it was a relatively poor 2015. Only three new IPs released last year made the Top 50: Evolve from 2K Games, Bandai Namco’s Project CARS and Warner Bros’ Dying Light.
Speaking of Warner Bros, the company has not just broken into Top Five physical publishers, but it is now in the Top Three. There were eight Warner Bros-published games in the Top 50 (and four LEGO games): Batman: Arkham Knight (No.6), LEGO Jurassic World (No.10), Dying Light (No.19), LEGO Dimensions (No.25), Mortal Kombat X (No.26), LEGO Batman III: Beyond Gotham (No.31), LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (No.38) and Mad Max (No.45).
As a result of fewer releases, Ubisoft, Nintendo and Sony slipped down the publisher rankings. However, all three have significantly stronger release slates for 2016, so they’re likely to be back up amongst the leaders this year.
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 software sales continue to tumble. PS3 software revenue, for instance, was down 61 per cent versus 2014. Although that’s not quite so severe when you consider that PS3 software sales also dropped 59 per cent between 2013 and 2014.
It will be interesting to see what impact backwards compatibility on Xbox One might have on Xbox 360 software sales over the next year.
Kids titles still perform strongly on previous generation machines, particularly titles such as Minecraft, the LEGO games and toys-to-life products. In fact, 55 per cent of Disney Infinity 3.0, Skylanders SuperChargers and LEGO Dimensions sales were made on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.
Check out the full charts below: