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UK physical market down in 2018, Switch sales surge

Update: ERA has since reported that the boxed games market was worth £769.9m in 2018, according to GfK, and not £731m.

Original story: Concluding a very successful quarter, Red Dead Redemption 2 took the top spot in the last weekly charts of 2018, that came to a close on December 29th. Sales for Rockstar’s hit were down 42 per cent week-on-week, after the title experienced a boost in sales before Christmas.

These last charts of the year also provide figures for 2018 as a whole: 20.9m physical game copies were sold in the UK during the year, a 7.1 per cent drop year-on-year as 2017 reached 22.4m. In terms of revenue, the market reached £731m according to GfK’s report, a slight 2.8 per cent decrease compared to 2017, which was valued at around £752m.

The PS4 was the most successful console of 2018 in the UK in terms of software sold, with PS4 games representing 42.2 per cent of the market, followed by the Xbox One with 30.5 per cent of the market. The Switch accounted for 24 per cent of the market, which represented a 90.9 per cent increase of copies sold year-on-year. In terms of revenue, Nintendo’s platform was up 73.4 per cent year-on-year.

The rest of the physical market is shared between the 3DS (2.1 per cent of physical copies sold in 2018), PC (0.7 per cent), the Wii (0.2 per cent), the Xbox 360 (0.2 per cent) and what GfK categorises as “Others” (0.2 per cent).

Going back to the charts, FIFA 19 remained at No.2 for a third consecutive week, despite a 36 per cent decrease in sales, though most titles saw their sales go down week-on-week following the Christmas surge. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 remained at No.3 for a third consecutive week too.

Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros Ultimate gained one spot to No.4, replacing Battlefield V, which fell to No.5.

The charts for the last week of 2018 were very similar to what they were for the past three weeks really, with the Top Ten just being slightly reshuffled: Forza Horizon 4 gained four spots to No.6 for instance, and Spider Man lost two spots to No.10.

There wasn’t any new entry in the charts but we fully expect things to pick up from next week as the first big titles of 2019 start to release.

Here’s the Top Ten for the week ending on December 29th (data courtesy of GfK/Ukie):

To keep an eye on what’s releasing when, don’t forget to take a look at our release schedule, updated weekly.

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s senior staff writer, having joined the publication during its days as a weekly magazine. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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