UK Boxed Charts: First Time in 13 Years That Call of Duty Fails to Debut at #1

In a week that saw the release of new titles from the Spider-Man, Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed franchises, it was safe to say FIFA 21’s perch at the top of the UKs physical sales charts was under serious challenge, and it looks like the industry’s flagship soccer sim has conceded the throne as it slips to #4 in this weeks chart. Seeing a near quarter drop in sales from last week, most likely due to there being no next gen version of the game available at present other than via backwards compatibility, FIFA has opened the door for three new releases to climb ahead of it.

A massive launch week for games & consoles sees an all new top 3.

Call of Duty has been a reliable lock for the #1 on it’s launch week for going on 13 years now, with its dedicated playerbase consistently swarming into the game as early as possible to familiarize themselves with the new maps, modes, and weapons that the multiplayer has on offer, however, breaking that 13 year tradition is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Launching with almost double the sales of previous entry Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has launched a daring raid on the UK physical sales market, and has come out on top. With 60% of it’s sales heading to PlayStation consoles (PS4 42% / PS5 18%) its important to point out that the PlayStation 5 has yet to release in the UK, meaning another strong week of sales on the next gen platform could be in store.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War wasn’t able to pull off the same improvement over the franchise’s last release, instead dropping in physical sales over 64% compared with last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and so only finding itself at #2 during launch week. Sales saw a share of 39% for PS4, 34% for the Xbox One version, 17% for the PS5 and 9% for the Xbox Series version of the game.

PlayStation exclusive Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the #3 entrant to the charts this week, even though this title also received less attention on the physical market than its predecessor with a 56% drop in boxed sales. Miles Morales was billed as the PS5’s top launch title, and even though you can grab a copy for PS4 71% of its sales are for the next-gen console which isn’t even out in the UK yet.

Physical sales are only half the story.

Important to point out is that these are simply the physical sales side of the charts, and with the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the UK being in lockdown, and the rise of popularity in digital sales thanks to faster broadband speeds and cross gen upgrades the results here may not necessarily reflect the overall sales charts expected later this week.

A statement from Activision Blizzard’s EMEAA MD Anna Malmhake proclaimed that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War “set a new record as the highest first day digital sales worldwide in franchise history”, so while the physical sales are down for certain titles, the digital marketplaces may well have a much bigger impact on the final overall charts.

PlayStation begin the new generation strong.

Last week an estimated 790,000 boxed games were sold in the UK, which is a 96% rise from last week that produced £36.4 million at UK retail. PlayStation 5 games made up almost 19% of all games sold and nearly 25% of the total revenue. With PS exclusive Miles Morales being the first big name next gen title available, and with sales for Call of Duty leaning towards PS5 over Series X|S by an 8% margin it would seem that the UK market is trending towards PlayStation as the most attractive platform for next gen at this time.

UK Physical/Boxed Sales Chart for the Week Ending November 14th:

1Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
2Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
3Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
4FIFA 21
5Animal Crossing: New Horizons