Sorry Minecraft, you’re not the biggest game in the UK

Writing MCV opinion pieces can, at times, feel like smashing my head against the proverbial brick wall.

I know I must sound like a record trapped on repeat, but the data and information this industry is giving out just isn’t good enough.

Not to dismiss Chart-Track’s figures. The retail data that we print is important to a large segment of this industry (and one that is worth 2.3bn no less). But it’s this chart, the one right here that lists the UK’s best-selling games of 2014, which frustrates me – the one that has FIFA 15 sitting pretty at No.1.

It’s frustrating because I am convinced the best-selling game of 2014 was actually Minecraft.

In the box charts for 2014, that game sits in sixth and 11th positions (Xbox and PlayStation editions have been separated for some reason), but it was also top of the iOS charts and pretty much dominated the Xbox Live and Google Play rankings all year and, I imagine, ruled the roost on PSN, as well.

Judging by the huge number of Minecraft books, clothes and toys, I have to assume that there really is no bigger game in the world. Yet history will tell you it was FIFA.

That’s just stupid.

What’s worse, is that most of the games industry wants to share its data. It’s just a few difficult businesses that insist they can’t divulge their numbers because they’re private, or they’re public, or they’re secretive, or some other bullshit reason.

I know the real motivation as to why they’re not sharing. It’s the same reason most companies said nothing while our industry suffered the PR disaster that was GamerGate. It’s fear. Companies are afraid of putting their head above the parapet, of daring to speak out and being criticised for it, of opening their books and letting the world discover just how big they are (or aren’t).

But this self-interest has got to stop. 2015 is shaping up to be one to really remember. Check out today’s MCV and you’ll see what I mean. But if this year is to live up to its potential, a bit of bravery is needed.

Together as an industry we can show the world how big and progressive we are. We can stamp out misogyny, cyber-bulling and hacking.

We just need to stand up and be counted. And I mean that literally.

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