You know those UK sales charts we publish every week? They’re pretty irrelevant these days. That’s because they discount digital purchases, which in 2020 represented 67 per cent of the market. That’s a significant increase from 52 per cent in 2019, and while coronavirus will have played a part in that dramatic upswing, trends are pretty clearly moving away from physical software.
We should elaborate that this data excludes Nintendo and Bethesda published titles, as they refuse to share digital numbers, although we imagine they’re observing similar trends to everyone else. A total of 42.7 million games were purchased in the UK overall last year, and despite the shift to downloads, physical sales actually increased two per cent year-over-year.
Interestingly, PlayStation 5 was the second-best selling console of 2020 in the UK, despite it being supply constrained and not launching until mid-November. Nintendo Switch was the overall winner, with the PlayStation 4 finishing up in third. Similarly, the DualShock 4 controller was the best-selling accessory for the year.
Below is a list of Britain’s best-selling games of 2020, with digital and physical numbers included. Unsurprisingly, it’s the likes of FIFA, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto which rule supreme, although The Last of Us: Part II, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Ghost of Tsushima all put up decent numbers as well.
UK Best-Selling Games 2020
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Grand Theft Auto V
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
The Last of Us: Part II
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
Red Dead Redemption 2
Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Ghost of Tsushima
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
* Digital sales not included