The gift that keeps on giving (buying)
This year sees Christmas Day fall on a Saturday, the same day the charts for the previous week are compiled. As such, we already know the UK’s Christmas Number #1 video game for 2021, and it’s Electronic Arts’ annual soccer sim, FIFA 22.
The final UK Charts Top Ten before Christmas is a who’s who of by-the-numbers bestsellers, with the listings packed out with all of the titles one would expect to be rocking around the Christmas tree come December 25. Following FIFA 21’s premier position is Activision’s Call of Duty: Vanguard at number two, perennial mainstay Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at number three, with positions four and five rounded out by Insomniac’s excellent Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Innersloth’s viral sleuther Among Us. Rockstar’s horrendous Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — Definitive Edition is also in the mix at number six. Lordy.
This is one of the many reasons I stopped reporting the weekly charts back in the summer of this year. Not only are high street sales becoming less lucrative on a yearly… nay… monthly basis, but the UK Charts simply isn’t an authentic representation of what the world is playing, or which new releases are worth your cash. With the slow decay of physical sales, COVID-19 causing severe damage to the retail industry, and Britain’s unending love affair with the same four franchises — regardless of output quality — nothing is to be gained from knowing what titles shifted the most copies last week at your local Sainsbury’s. Around half of the games in the Top Ten below didn’t even debut within the last 12 months.
FIFA 22 might be Christmas No.1 2021, but it doesn’t pop the Top 30 when it comes to the year’s best video game releases. The UK Charts is an archaic concept, barely representative of the industry’s sales, product quality, or market share. While I dusted off the concept today in order to announce the UK’s “holiday favorite”, writing this up has only further confirmed that I made the right decision when I decided to stop reporting on it weekly.
U.K. video game sales chart w/e: December 18, 2021
(Chart reflects in-store physical sales only)
1. FIFA 22 — Electronic Arts
2. Call of Duty: Vanguard — Activision
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — Nintendo
4. Among Us — Maximum Games
5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Sony Interactive Entertainment
6. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy Definitive Edition — Take-Two
7. Minecraft — Nintendo
8. Just Dance 2022 — Ubisoft
9. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond — Nintendo
10. Animal Crossing: New Horizons — Nintendo
U.K. Video Game Charts [GamesIndustry.biz]