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UK CHARTS: March

Ben Parfitt
UK CHARTS: March

The value of the UK games software market fell in March by seven per cent year-on-year. But it was still a great month of major releases, while EA and Square Enix both saw big gains.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was the runaway success story of the month with most copies sold. Meanwhile, Square Enix leapt up the publisher rankings thanks to Final Fantasy XIII and Just Cause 2.

Sony also had a great month. The PS3’s share of the software market is increasing, and God of War III and Heavy Rain both enjoyed big sales during March.

However, not everyone could be a winner. Nintendo had three games in the Top 10 in February, but in March the firm only had Wii Sports Resort (in at No.9). The platform holder’s high profile DS releases – Pokémon SoulSilver and HeartGold – just missed out on the Top 10 managing No.11 and No.13 respectively.

Sega, which released a series of big titles in February, also lost ground last month. However, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is showing long-tail potential. The game, which debuted at No.30 in the February charts, has jumped 20 places to No.10 in the March Top 50.

Take-Two also fell down the publishing rankings as BioShock 2 tumbles from No.3 in February to No.20.

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE BY COMPANY – UNITS
(last month in brackets)


1. (1) EA – 17.5%
2. (4)NINTENDO – 13.6%
3. (2) UBISOFT – 11.5%
4. (17) SQUARE ENIX – 8.8%
5. (3) SEGA – 7.6%
6. (6) SONY – 6.4%
7. (7) ACTIVISION BLIZZARD – 5.2%
8. (8) THQ – 4.5%
9. (5) TAKE 2 – 3.5%
10. (9) MICROSOFT – 2.7%

EA continued its February success to once again become the biggest publisher of the month. Bad Company 2 was the main sales driver for the firm. It was also a huge month for Square Enix, the publisher’s two No.1s - Final Fantasy XIII and Just Cause 2 – saw the firm leap up 13 places to fourth in terms of units sales.

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE BY COMPANY – VALUE
(last month in brackets)


1. (1) EA – 20.8%
2. (15) SQUARE ENIX – 13.6%
3. (3) NINTENDO – 13.5%
4. (6) SONY – 8.7%
5. (4) UBISOFT – 8.5%
6. (2) SEGA – 8.0%
7. (7) ACTIVISION BLIZZARD – 6.0%
8. (8) THQ – 3.9%
9. (5) TAKE 2 – 2.8%
10. (9) MICROSOFT – 2.0%

Nintendo and Ubisoft’s key sellers in March – including Wii Fit Plus and Just Dance – retailed at lower RRPs than the likes of Bad Company 2 and Final Fantasy XIII. This meant both publishers ranked lower in terms of value than they did units. Sega slipped out of the Top Five this month after its big sales in February.

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE BY FORMAT – UNITS
(last month in brackets)


1. (2) XBOX 360 – 23.6%
2. (1) NINTENDO WII – 22.0%
3. (3) PS3 – 21.9%
4. (4) NINTENDO DS – 18.2%
5. (5) PC – 11.0%
6. (6) PSP – 2.5%
7. (7) PS2 – 0.7%
8. (8) XBOX – 0.0%

More games were sold for Xbox 360 last month than for any other platform. There were four games for Microsoft’s machine in the March Top 5, which helped the platform displace Wii at the top of the charts. Nintendo’s console still holds on to second spot – boosted by the continued success of Ubisoft’s Just Dance.

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE BY FORMAT – VALUE
(last month in brackets)


1. (1) XBOX 360 – 29.3%
2. (2) PS3 – 29.1%
3. (3) NINTENDO WII – 18.3%
4. (4) NINTENDO DS – 14.6%
5. (5) PC – 6.7%
6. (6) PSP – 1.6%
7. (7) PS2 – 0.4%
8. (8) XBOX – 0.0%

It’s practically neck-and-neck between Xbox 360 and PS3 when it comes to the format that held the largest share of the software market value in March. Seven PS3 games are in the Top 50, including exclusives God of War III and Heavy Rain. However, Xbox 360 continues to lead Sony’s machine by 0.2 per cent.

ALL FORMATS TOP 50

1. BATTLEFIElD: BAD COMPANY 2 – EA
2. FINAL FANTASY XIII – SQUARE ENIX
3. JUST DANCE – UBISOFT
4. JUST CAUSE 2 – SQUARE ENIX
5. CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2 – ACTIVISION
6. GOD OF WAR III – SONY
7. WII FIT PLUS – NINTENDO
8. HEAVY RAIN – SONY
9. WII SPORTS RESORT – NINTENDO
10. SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARs RACING – SEGA
11. POKéMON SOULSILVER – NINTENDO
12. ALIENS VS PREDATOR – SEGA
13. POKéMON HEARTGOLD – NINTENDO
14. FIFA 10 – EA
15. NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII – NINTENDO
16. MARIO KART WII – NINTENDO
17. METRO 2033 – THQ
18. BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE VILGAX ATTACKS – D3P
19. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 – MICROSOFT
20. BIOSHOCK 2 – TAKE-TWO
21. ASSASSIN’S CREED II – UBISOFT
22. MARIO & SONIC AT THE WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES – SEGA
23. LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME – WARNER BROS
24. JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR: THE GAME – UBISOFT
25. GRAND THEFT AUTO IV – ROCKSTAR
26. NEW SUPER MARIO BROS – NINTENDO
27. PROFESSOR LAYTON AND PANDORA’S BOX – NINTENDO
28. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 – SEGA
29. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES – SONY
30. PEPPA PIG: THE GAME – P2 GAMES
31. MARIO AND LUIGI: BOWSERS INSIDE STORY – NINTENDO
32. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 – THQ
33. MASS EFFECT 2 – EA
34. C&C 4: TIBERIAN TWILIGHT – EA
35. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 – KONAMI
36. PURE – DISNEY
37. PRISON BREAK: THE CONSPIRACY – KOCH MEDIA
38. NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT – EA
39. DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS AWAKENING – EA
40. CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE – ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
41. MARIO KART DS – NINTENDO
42. NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR – SEGA
43. MX VS ATV REFLEX – THQ
44. DARKSIDERS – THQ
45. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS – NINTENDO
46. SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE COLLECTION – SEGA
47. ASSASSIN’S CREED II – UBISOFT
48. WII PLAY – NINTENDO
49. UP – THQ
50. BORDERLANDS – 2K GAMES

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