Need For Speed Unbound has been a mega flop in the UK physical sales charts12/05/2022
Despite there seemingly being three big name releases last week only one has made it into the UK top 10, and none of them into the top five.
It’s always frustrating having to guess how well a video game has sold based on the physical sales charts, but since digital sales are not revealed by all companies, and always come in late, there’s nothing else to go on.
After the Black Friday sales it’s no surprise to see FIFA 23 at number one, thanks to the World Cup, or Call Of Duty, God Of War Ragnarök, and Mario Kart 8 solidifying their positions for the Christmas gift giving season.
What is surprising is that neither Marvel’s Midnight Suns or Need For Speed Unbound managed to get anywhere near the top 10, with new IP The Callisto Protocol beating them both at number six.
We would say that The Callisto Protocol, by the creator of Dead Space, had the worst reviews of the trio but thanks to EA there were no Need For Speed Unbound reviews of any kind prior to launch.
It’s debatable whether anyone would’ve listened to them, but as the second highest new entry of the week Need For Speed Unbound only managed to get as high as number 17.
Midnight Suns had it even worse, as despite the prominent Marvel licence it debuted at number 26, just ahead of Lego Jurassic World from 2015 and just behind last year’s Mario Party Superstars.
UK all formats retail chart – 3 December
1 (1) FIFA 23 (PS5/PS4/XO/NS)
2 (2) Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS5/XO/PS4)
3 (5) God Of War Ragnarök (PS5/PS4)
4 (4) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NS)
5 (3) Pokémon Violet (NS)
6 (-) The Callisto Protocol (PS5/XSX/PS4/XO)
7 (6) Pokémon Scarlet (NS)
8 (8) Nintendo Switch Sports (NS)
9 (7) Sonic Frontiers (PS5/NS/XSX/PS4)
10 (15) Minecraft (NS)
Copyright and Compiled by GfK
According to GamesIndustry.biz, The Callisto Protocol’s sales were 17% lower than Dying Light 2 earlier in the year, but bigger than other ‘mid-level releases’ such as Saints Row and Gotham Knights. The PlayStation 5 version was by far the most popular, claiming 74% of sales.
That is only physical sales though and Xbox owners tend to buy more digital games, so are always underrepresented in the physical charts. As a strategy game from the makers of XCOM, a lot of Midnight Suns’ sales are likely to have been on PC, which doesn’t even have a physical release.
It may be that Midnight Suns has done well overall but Need For Speed definitely seems to have been a flop, with sale down 64% compared to 2019’s Need For Speed Heat, which itself was not exactly a blockbuster hit.
Again, 78% of its sales were for PlayStation 5, but it’s a humiliating result for what is still the tenth biggest video game IP in UK history, and a franchise that, before the days of Call Of Duty, regularly used to be the Christmas number one.
Since none of the three games are likely to chart higher this year, that means the Christmas number one for 2022 is almost certainly going to be FIFA 23, with only Call Of Duty and the Nintendo exclusives offering any serious competition.
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