Each year, physical video game sales decrease as digital downloads rise in popularity. In the UK, 2019 retail sales dropped by 19.8% when compared to the previous year. Still, FIFA 20 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare managed to rack up over a million copies sold across various retailers in the UK. In total, 17.6 million physical games were sold, which generated £602.5 million ($789 million) in revenue for the year.
Digital sales in the UK grew by only 1.1%, earning £3.17 billion ($4.15 billion) in 2019. When combined with physical sales, £3.77 billion ($4.94 billion) was generated in 2019. This total is a 3.4% drop over 2018, marking the first time UK software sales have declined since 2012. There is a precedent for such a drop-off in revenue, attributed to the upcoming release of new video game hardware. 2012 was the year before the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One, while 2019 precedes the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Publisher Electronic Arts stole the show with three of the year’s best-selling retail games in the UK: FIFA 20, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and FIFA 19. Other notable publishers were Rockstar, which had two games chart—Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto V—and Activision, featuring two games as well—Modern Warfare and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.
Besides FIFA 20 and Modern Warfare, no other retail games even came close to selling a million copies in the UK. The next best-selling game was Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, which reached less than half a million units sold across all retailers.
Here are 2019’s best-selling retail games in the UK:
- FIFA 20
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- FIFA 19
- Pokémon Sword
- Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
Modern Warfare and FIFA 20 were both consistently at the top of the charts following their launches. Towards the end of 2019, the Activision shooter was often the best-selling game in the UK each week but never managed to outperform FIFA 20 in overall sales for the year.
[Source: Games Industry]