GTA 5: the game of the 2010s (photo: Rockstar Games)
FIFA and Call Of Duty dominated UK retail sales in 2019, but Fortnite remains the world’s largest free game.
The 2019 ended, and also the 2010 as a whole, but despite the hundreds of games that have been released in the last 10 years, we do not believe that anyone is surprised of which was the biggest seller.
Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto 5 has rarely been out of the UK’s top 10 since it was first launched more than six years ago (it is still at number six this week) and now GfK has confirmed it as the most sold from all decades in the United Kingdom.
You can see the full top 10 below, with Call of Duty: Black Ops of 2010, the second largest seller and Minecraft at number three.
The best-selling video games of the 2010s: retail in the UK
1. Grand Theft Auto 5
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
5. FIFA 14
6. FIFA 13
7. FIFA 15
8. Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2
9. FIFA 11
10. FIFA 12
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As with all GfK data that only includes retail sales and ignores digital, which represented only a small percentage of sales at the beginning of the decade, but now they are more than 50% for most titles.
That may help explain why FIFA 14 is FIFA’s highest title, at number five, although FIFA 20 certainly did well this year, easily beating Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to become the best selling retail game 2019 in the United Kingdom and earning around £ 73 million in revenue.
Pokémon Sword and Shield may have been the third best seller, but without Shield’s sales numbers and double packages, it’s impossible to know for sure what the final total was.
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Unusually, the ERA (Entertainment Retail Association) provides the actual number of sales, showing how far FIFA and Call Of Duty are from the rest of the group, with only Rockstar Games generally approaching.
That is what happened in 2018, when Red Dead Redemption 2 has just lost the number one spot to FIFA 19. Call Of Duty sales increased in 2019 and FIFA decreased, but overall the UK market fell 3.4 % to ‘only’ £ 3.77 billion.
That is the first year without growth since 2012, which was also the year before the introduction of Xbox One and PlayStation 4, so this downward cycle before a new generation of consoles is part of the usual pattern.
However, physical game sales fell 21.7% in 2019 to £ 702.5 million, and spending on online and mobile games increased only a modest 1.1% to £ 3.17 billion.
The best-selling video games of 2019: retail in the UK
1. FIFA 20 – 1,502,191
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – 1,192,211
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 465,062
4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – 438,465
5. Red Dead Redemption 2 – 306,392
6. FIFA 19 – 278,417
7. Pokémon sword – 273,991
8. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled – 267,285
9. Grand Theft Auto 5 – 247,357
10. The Division 2 – 237,226
Difficult numbers are even harder to obtain for digital-only games like Fortnite, but according to the analyst group, free SuperData games accounted for 80% of all digital sales in 2019.
Fortnite was the most lucrative game for the second year in a row, with a staggering £ 1.4 billion of purchases in the game in 2019. Although globally that was just a little behind the Korean game Dungeon Fighter Online at £ 1 , 2 billion.
In terms of paid games, FIFA 19 (not 20) was the most successful, with £ 601 million microtransactions. However, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare was only left behind, with £ 494 million, with Grand Theft Auto 5 with £ 455 million.
However, purchases in the game did see a general decline, with sales that decreased by 5%. This was mainly attributed to the smaller number of important new releases, which is another common side effect of a next generation of consoles.
However, digital sales in general still experienced a 3% growth, which generated a total of £ 91.9 billion in 2019. Of that mobile they accounted for the largest portion at £ 49.3 billion, with the PC at £ 22.7 billion. and consoles at just £ 11.8 billion.
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