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Revealed the Best Selling Video Games in UK (Retail) for the last 30 years.

KennyX

Banned
Member
Nov 21, 2018
873
#51
I mentioned upthread that the World Cup titles didn't show up either; FIFA 15 appeared in the same year as World Cup 2014, so it might perhaps be that people weren't in the market for two separate FIFA titles that year, splitting the userbase?
Fifa World Cup Brazil 2014 was released before FIFA 15 and had no effect on its sales at all. Not at launch, nor regarding legs.

Fifa 15 is still the third biggest Fifa launch in the UK (at retail)
 
Feb 15, 2019
169
#55
Some takes from the lists;

  • Only 1 Halo being on that list is a suprise.
  • Interesting from the 1 million list that there are only three games from the Sixth generation (Grand Theft Auto 3, VC and SA) and they were all on PlayStation 2, nothing from Gamecube, Dreamcast or OG Xbox
  • PlayStation really dominated the UK retail.
Genuine question. Is Halo actually even really big in the UK? I've always thought Halo and to a further extent Gears to be pretty much primarily a USA big seller. Like sure obviously it's gonna top the charts when it releases but I never thought it'd continue to sell that well afterwards. Though I guess UK has historically been Xbox's second best region and IIRC the UK game sales were pretty similar to the USA ones (in terms of popularity, not units sold) with the big exception being Fifa.
 

KennyX

Banned
Member
Nov 21, 2018
873
#56
Genuine question. Is Halo actually even really big in the UK? I've always thought Halo and to a further extent Gears to be pretty much primarily a USA big seller. Like sure obviously it's gonna top the charts when it releases but I never thought it'd continue to sell that well afterwards. Though I guess UK has historically been Xbox's second best region and IIRC the UK game sales were pretty similar to the USA ones (in terms of popularity, not units sold) with the big exception being Fifa.
Halo is the only non Nintendo exclusive on that list. Doesn't that answer your question already?
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,467
UK
#64
Million sellers by platform:

X360: 15
Wii: 10
PS3: 9
PS4: 8
DS: 4
PS2: 4
XBO: 3

Just shows how sales are concentrating more and more to the smaller amount of big games. PS2 only with 4 million sellers despite insane sw sales and PS1 doesn't have a single million seller.
Interesting.

360 was a beast in the UK, even outsold Wii in the end which seemed unfathomable earlier in the generation. Going from 15 to 3 is quite the fall there, the only saving grace is it was far less of a fall than Wii -> Wii U suffered. Whether Microsoft can enjoy a Switch style resurgence next gen will be interesting to see, they're certainly going to be more aggressive this time around.
 
Mar 20, 2018
2,588
Switzerland
#65
Interesting.

360 was a beast in the UK, even outsold Wii in the end which seemed unfathomable earlier in the generation. Going from 15 to 3 is quite the fall there, the only saving grace is it was far less of a fall than Wii -> Wii U suffered. Whether Microsoft can enjoy a Switch style resurgence next gen will be interesting to see, they're certainly going to be more aggressive this time around.
Isnt it less of a fall though ?

Wii -> WiiU lost 10 million sellers.
360-> One lost 12 million sellers.(or 359 if you wanna be funny)
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,982
#68
Interesting.

360 was a beast in the UK, even outsold Wii in the end which seemed unfathomable earlier in the generation. Going from 15 to 3 is quite the fall there, the only saving grace is it was far less of a fall than Wii -> Wii U suffered. Whether Microsoft can enjoy a Switch style resurgence next gen will be interesting to see, they're certainly going to be more aggressive this time around.
Well you have to also remember that this gen is still on going. I think XBO could get still few more million sellers on the list. RDR2 and some FIFA. Still of course huge drop from X360. Also this list doesn't include digital sales. With those I think it would already have few more (FIFA 18 and 19 at least).
 
Mar 20, 2018
2,588
Switzerland
#71
Is there a similar list for US or Japan? it will be interesting to see the difference.
Japan has the fantastic Games Data Library.

They have the following:

Famicom(aka NES): 43
Super Famicom: 29
Sega Saturn: 1
Gameboy: 26

Playstation: 31
N64: 10

GBA: 4
PS2:23
NGC: 1

DS: 37
PsP: 5
PS3: 4
Wii: 14

PS4: 3(might be 4 now not sure)
WiiU: 4
Switch:7
3DS:26
PSDead: 1

Its obviously a battle between Sony and Nintendo, though they both have been declining a long time.

Sony essentially only has DQ, MH, FF and maybe Kingdom Hearts as million sellers nowadays.
Even their Internationally strong new/revised franchises(HZD, GOW,Spiderman) dont really make it to a million.

Nintendo of course has its First Party powerhouse, but with MH so far looking to other pastures they did loose a consistent Million seller franchise.
This year they have 2 games that will break a million for sure(Pokemon, AC) with several other that might do it too.
Plus Mario party, where its just a matter of weeks.
 
Oct 27, 2017
717
#72
For anyone curious, some of this data (the older sales specifically) seem to be from the old ELSPA site, an archive of which can be found here. I've linked to the "Double Platinum" page which shows games that had sold between 600,000 and 1,000,000 copies.

Only 1 Halo being on that list is a suprise.
It's shouldn't be much of a surprise. The first Xbox sold poorly globally - it did better in the UK than it did in most other countries, but still not enough to make for a game selling a million copies in the UK to be plausible. So Halo 1 and 2 probably sold in large numbers, but still below a million, Halo 3 benefited from that (and the enormous hype-wave at launch), and then fewer people cared about Halo afterwards.

Interesting from the 1 million list that there are only three games from the Sixth generation (Grand Theft Auto 3, VC and SA) and they were all on PlayStation 2, nothing from Gamecube, Dreamcast or OG Xbox
And The Simpsons: Hit & Run.

Zumba Fitness was certainly not the game I expected to be number one
It's in alphabetical order by name of the publisher. It's first on the list because it was published by 505 Games.
 

KennyX

Banned
Member
Nov 21, 2018
873
#75
Is there more than one Halo on the list? Is there one from this decade?
No, but by that standard only 3 games are big in the UK:
Fifa, Cod and GTA

So it all depends what you consider big.
So outside of those huge franchises, Halo is indeed big.

1 million at retail isn't that easy anymore. The list including digital would look different.
 
Apr 7, 2019
28
#76
For anyone curious, some of this data (the older sales specifically) seem to be from the old ELSPA site, an archive of which can be found here. I've linked to the "Double Platinum" page which shows games that had sold between 600,000 and 1,000,000 copies.


It's shouldn't be much of a surprise. The first Xbox sold poorly globally - it did better in the UK than it did in most other countries, but still not enough to make for a game selling a million copies in the UK to be plausible. So Halo 1 and 2 probably sold in large numbers, but still below a million, Halo 3 benefited from that (and the enormous hype-wave at launch), and then fewer people cared about Halo afterwards.


And The Simpsons: Hit & Run.


It's in alphabetical order by name of the publisher. It's first on the list because it was published by 505 Games.
Yep already got that pointed out
 
Oct 25, 2017
890
#80
The Sims and The Sims 2 are both in the double platinum range (600,000 to 1,000,000 sales) on the old ELSPA site, and they're the only PC games in that range, which means they're almost definitely the biggest-selling PC games ever in the UK.
That's why I thought one of them would've sold a million in the UK. Not the biggest-selling PC game ever tho, only in retail. A game like CS must've sold more than ~600k.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,278
#81
Is there a similar list for US or Japan? it will be interesting to see the difference.
For US there is this thread about the best selling exclusive games from 1995 to 2018 in US:
https://www.resetera.com/threads/npd-top-10-best-selling-exclusives-between-1995-and-2018.82060/

Not exactly the same but better than nothing.

For Japan the number of million seller by publisher (famitsu or shipment data for games older than 1995):

Nintendo: 99
Capcom: 20
Square: 18
SquareEnix: 16
Pokemon Co: 14
Enix: 12
Konami: 12
SCE: 12
Level 5: 8
Bandai: 7
Namco: 6
Hudson Soft: 5
Koei: 3
ASCII: 2
Sega: 2
Banpresto: 1
Jaleco: 1
GungHo Online Entertainment: 1

Combining the companies which merged or were acquired later on or are deeply related:

Nintendo + Pokemon Co: 113
Square + Enix + SquareEnix: 46
Konami + Hudson: 17
Namco + Bandai + Banpresto: 14

Nintendo absolutely dominate in Japan:
Nintendo + Pokemon Co: 113
The remaining million seller from other companies: 126
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
717
#82
That's why I thought one of them would've sold a million in the UK. Not the biggest-selling PC game ever tho, only in retail. A game like CS must've sold more than ~600k.
Well yes, I'm talking retail-only.

>600K is a huge number for a boxed PC game in the UK - by the time people were collecting relatively accurate sales numbers in the UK a lot of retailers were avoiding boxed PC game sales because of piracy, so only a small number of PC games ever got a chance to sell in significant numbers (mostly The Sims and the Championship/Football Manager games). What eventually solved the piracy obstacle was codes in boxes, but that also meant people just shifted to buying codes directly instead of at retailers.
 
OP
OP
Bruno MB
Oct 25, 2017
521
#84
Well yes, I'm talking retail-only.

>600K is a huge number for a boxed PC game in the UK - by the time people were collecting relatively accurate sales numbers in the UK a lot of retailers were avoiding boxed PC game sales because of piracy, so only a small number of PC games ever got a chance to sell in significant numbers (mostly The Sims and the Championship/Football Manager games). What eventually solved the piracy obstacle was codes in boxes, but that also meant people just shifted to buying codes directly instead of at retailers.
Theme Hospital on PC had accumulated (retail) by 2015 over 759,000 units sold (not extrapolated for full market) of which 671,000 belonged to the budget version.

Championship Manager: Season 01/02 sold 414,000 units (not extrapolated for full market).
 
Aug 23, 2018
1,148
#86
It hurts me that a game riddled with microtransactions and has very few improvements year to year sells that well, yes.
FIFA 16 introduced female teams.
FIFA 17 added a brand new 'The Journey' story mode.
FIFA 18 refined and expanded on the story mode while improving the game physics. Also introduced free world cup DLC.

MTX is only in the 'Ultimate team' mode, so it's misinformation to say the game is 'riddled with microtransactions'.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,496
Ireland
#89
FIFA 16 introduced female teams.
FIFA 17 added a brand new 'The Journey' story mode.
FIFA 18 refined and expanded on the story mode while improving the game physics. Also introduced free world cup DLC.

MTX is only in the 'Ultimate team' mode, so it's misinformation to say the game is 'riddled with microtransactions'.
What mode is focused upon the most in the game over the past few years and received the most attention from the developers? What game mode is consistently pushed? Are other modes left behind and forgotten about with little to no improvements or just taken out completely?

Ultimate Team is the primary focus on Fifa because it brings in the most money due to microtransactions. Don't feed me this shit that they care equally as much about other aspects of the game.
 
Aug 23, 2018
1,148
#90
What mode is focused upon the most in the game over the past few years and received the most attention from the developers? What game mode is consistently pushed? Are other modes left behind and forgotten about with little to no improvements or just taken out completely?

Ultimate Team is the primary focus on Fifa because it brings in the most money due to microtransactions. Don't feed me this shit that they care equally as much about other aspects of the game.
None of the other modes are left behind. All get improved year on year. Ultimate team is lucrative for EA, but it's horseshit that it's to the detriment of the other modes.
In no way does FIFA fall behind it's main competitor in any mode. It betters it in pretty much every way.

Finally, ultimate team isn't the most popular FIFA mode. I'm pretty sure thats friendly games, offline and online.
 
Oct 27, 2017
752
#98
Simpsons Hit & Run and a few Mario games are the only bright spots on an otherwise extremely depressing list.

That's why I thought one of them would've sold a million in the UK. Not the biggest-selling PC game ever tho, only in retail. A game like CS must've sold more than ~600k.
The Sims had a lot of starter SKUs that split sales - Double Deluxe, Triple Deluxe, Party Pack, Complete Collection etc.