In the UK: FIFA 17 Was The Top Selling Game at Retail for 2016; Hardware and Software Sales Fall for the Year

on January 13, 2017 11:26 AM

Research institute GfK has released its information and full year figures for the UK physical games market in 2016.

To begin, the numbers show that market fell 15.8% to £1.78bn in 2016. This number includes combined sales of physical games, console hardware, digital point cards, accessories, and toys-to-life figurines. However, it does not include TV consoles such as the NES Mini.

As for console hardware, it suffered the biggest drop in 2016. Sales of PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and 3DS and legacy devices generated £503m, a number that is down 27% compared to the £689.5m made in 2015. Almost every console dropped in sales both in units and revenue, and despite the release of the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro, both Sony and Microsoft couldn’t keep the sales going that it had in 2015. The only console that was an exception to the rule in 2016, was Nintendo’s 3DS family of consoles.

As GamesIndustry reports, these number suggest that the accelerated console cycle is causing a stepper drop off in sales that would be expected at this point.

While hardware took a hit, money generated by gaming accessories actually rose one percent year-t0-year, landing at £501m for 2016. Despite the toys-to-life figures’ market being hit with the cancellation of the Disney Infinity brand, gaming accessories saw an increase due to the three VR headsets launching this year: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. As GamesIndustry reports, if PlayStation VR had not been released, the accessories market would have declined in 2016.

Below, you can the Top 20 UK Accessories of 2016 (PlayStation VR and toys-t0-life not included):

Position Accessory/Peripheral
1 Xbox One Black Wireless Controller
2 PS4 DualShock 4 Controller – Black
3 PS4 DualShock 4 Controller V2 – Black
4 Xbox One S White Wireless Controller
5 Xbox One Chat Headset
6 Ear Force Recon 50X Headset Black (Turtle Beach)
7 Xbox One Play and Charge Kit – Black
8 Ear Force XO One Headset (Turtle Beach)
9 Xbox One Twin Docking Station Black (Venom)
10 Ear Force Recon 50P Headset (Turtle Beach)
11 Nintendo 3DS XL Power Adapter
12 Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter
13 PS4 DualShock Controller – Wave Blue
14 PS4 DualShock Controller – Magma Red
15 Ear Force Recon 30X Headset (Turtle Beach)
16 Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
17 Xbox One Twin Battery Packs – Black (Venom)
18 Guitar Hero Live: PS4 Guitar Controller
19 Sony PS4 Camera V2
20 Wireless Stereo Headset 2.0 Black (Sony)

Moving on to software, UKIE/GFK figures show that £776m was generated by boxed software sales (including toys-to-life starter packs) in 2016, which is a decline of 16.4% compared with the £927.6m of 2015.

The decline can largely be contributed to the retail flop of some big titles of the year, as well as the substantial decrease in Xbox 360 and Ps3 software sales.

In terms of market share, PS4 and Xbox One dominated, with almost 80% of all boxed games sold last year coming from either one of those platforms, while in 2015 that number came in at 66%. As for last generation consoles, PS3 and Xbox 360, only accounted for 8.1%, a fall from its 20% share in 2015.

Over at Nintendo, the Wii U saw a 2.5% software market share drop, while the 3DS increased its share year-on-year, which is notably impressive given how old the piece of hardware is.

Software Share by Platform – Units

Last Year This Year Platform Software Market Share (Units)
1 1 PS4 45%
2 2 Xbox One 34.1%
5 3 Nintendo 3DS 7%
3 4 Xbox 360 5.2%
4 5 PS3 2.9%
7 6 Wii U 2.5%
6 7 PC 2.3%
8 8 Wii 0.5%
10 9 PlayStation Vita 0.4%
9 10 Nintendo DS 0.1%

In terms of software revenue, the top platforms are largely the same. The PS4, Xbox One, and 3DS accounted for 90% of the entire boxed software market, and all grew year-over-year.

Software Share by Platform – Revenue

Last Year This Year Platform Software Market Share (Revenue)
1 1 PS4 48.2%
2 2 Xbox One 36.3%
5 3 Nintendo 3DS 6%
3 4 Xbox 360 3.3%
6 5 Wii U 2.1%
4 6 PS3 1.8%
7 7 PC 1.7%
8 8 Wii 0.2%
9 9 PlayStation Vita

When breaking down software sales by publisher, 2016 was once again won by EA, who accounted for 22.1% of all boxed games sold, a 3% increase over last year, which it also came out on top.

This comes as no surprise, when you find out FIFA 17 was the best selling game of the year, which sold 2.5 million boxed units during 2016 (almost double its nearest competitor), and Battlefield 1 came in at number three. Only three games sold more than 1 million copies at retail in 2016, and EA had two of them. In regards to revenue, EA dominated even more: accounting for more than 26% of the money spent on boxed games for the year.

All three platform holders increased their share of the UK boxed software market year-on-year. Nintendo, bolstered by Pokemon Sun and Moon, saw 1.6% market growth. Microsoft increased its software share by 0.3%, largely thanks to the better than expected performance of Forza Horizon 3. And lastly, Sony, on the back of Uncharted 4, increased its share by 1.4%.

Important to note: these charts only include physical sales:

Top 20 UK Games Publishers – Units

Last Year This Year Company Name Software Market share (Units)
1 1 Electronic Arts 22.1%
2 2 Activision Blizzard 12.1%
4 3 Ubisoft 9.5%
6 4 Nintendo 8.2%
5 5 Take-Two 7.4%
9 6 Sony 7.1%
3 7 Warner Bros 6.4%
8 8 Microsoft 6.2%
7 9 Bethesda 5.4%
11 10 Square Enix Europe 3.3%
10 11 Bandai Namco 1.7%
17 12 505 Games 1.5%
15 13 Koch Media 1.2%
14 14 TellTale Games 1.1%
13 15 Konami 1%
20 16 Codemasters 0.8%
16 17 Sega 0.7%
12 18 Disney 0.7%
18 19 Capcom 0.7%
21 20 Little Orbit 0.3%

Lastly, we have the chart for the best selling games, at retail, for the year.

Once again, the chart is largely dominated by major sequels, with only five new IP in the All-Formats Top 50: Rocket League (which launched digitally in 2015), Overwatch, No Man’s Sky, Steep, and Tom Clancy’s The Division. Two of these IPS, The Division and Overwatch, managed to dig out a spot in the top ten.

Despite being three years old, GTA V is still pushing a large amount of units, coming in at number five for the year, and now selling over 6 million copies at retail, just in the UK since its launch.

In regards to exclusives, the highest charting game was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, coming in hot at number six. Forza Horizon 3 was the second best selling game at number 10, however, if Pokemon Sun and Moon sales were combined, it would have been the second best-selling exclusive game for the year.

The All-Formats UK Top 50 Boxed Chart 2016

Position Title Publisher/Developer
1 FIFA 17 EA/EA Canada
2 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Activision/Infinity Ward
3 Battlefield 1 EA/EA DICE
4 Tom Clancy’s The Division Ubisoft/Massive
5 Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar/Rockstar North
6 Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Sony/Naughty Dog
7 Call of Duty: Black Ops III Activision/Treyarch
8 Watch Dogs 2 Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
9 Overwatch Blizzard
10 Forza Horizon 3 Microsoft/Playground Games
11 Mafia III 2K Games/Hangar 13
12 Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Bethesda
13 FIFA 16 EA/EA Canada
14 LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Warner Bros/TT Games
15 Doom Bethesda/id Software
16 LEGO Marvel Avengers Warner Bros/TT Games
17 Star Wars Battlefront EA/EA DICE
18 Minecraft: Xbox Edition Microsoft/4J Studios
19 Far Cry Primal Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
20 Gears of War 4 Microsoft/The Coalition
21 Pokemon Sun Nintendo/Game Freak
22 Fallout 4 Bethesda
23 Pokemon Moon Nintendo/Game Freak
24 Final Fantasy XV Square Enix
25 Rocket League 505 Games/Psyonix
26 WWE 2K17 2K Games/Yuke’s and Visual Concepts
27 Titanfall 2 EA/Respawn
28 EA Sports UFC 2 EA/EA Canada
29 No Man’s Sky Sony/Hello Games
30 Dishonored 2 Bethesda/Arkane
31 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
32 Ratchet and Clank Sony/Insomniac
33 LEGO Jurassic World Warner Bros/TT Games
34 Minecraft: PlayStation Edition Sony/4J Studios
35 Dark Souls III Bandai Namco/From Software
36 Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 EA/Popcap Games
37 Rise of The Tomb Raider: 20th Anniversary Edition Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics
38 LEGO Dimensions Warner Bros/TT Games
39 Minecraft: Story Mode TellTale Games
40 Just Cause 3 Square Enix/Avalanche Studios
41 F1 2016 Codemasters/Codemasters Birmingham
42 WWE 2K16 2K Games/Yuke’s and Visual Concepts
43 Disney Infinity 3.0 Disney/Avalanche Software
44 Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Ubisoft/Ubisoft Quebec
45 Steep Ubisoft/Ubisoft France
46 Halo 5: Guardians Microsoft/343 Studios
47 Guitar Hero Live Activision/FreeStyleGames
48 Just Dance 2017 Ubisoft/Ubisoft France
49 Skylanders Imaginators Activision/Toys For Bob
50 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Square Enix/Eidos Montreal

And that’s it for the UK in 2016. See you next year, where Windjammers obliterates everything in its path.

 /  Assignments Editor & News Editor
Tyler Fischer is the Assignments Editor and News Editor at DualShockers. He specializes in writing breaking news, managing assignments, and organization. Born and raised in New York, Tyler studies journalism and public relations at SUNY New Paltz. In his free time he enjoys playing and watching soccer, getting lost in game lore, and writing comedy scripts.