UK lockdown boosts game sales, especially on Nintendo Switch

We’re all spending a lot more time indoors at the moment, and this effect can clearly be seen in the amount of games we’re buying.

The latest UK chart data for boxed sales shows that 260k physical games were sold in just the first week of January 2021 (thanks, GamesIndustry.biz), up by a third on last year, with 15 slots in the top 40 taken up by Nintendo Switch exclusives.

Nintendo’s colourful and cheerful games are performing particularly well – which may perhaps come as no surprise. Sales of Nintendo games were up by 123 per cent on the same period last year, and the top-selling boxed game in the UK last week was, once again, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Ol’ faithful Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came in second.

The multi-platform Just Dance 3 boogied into third place, with 91 per cent of its physical sales for… you guessed it, Nintendo Switch.

Ring Fit Adventure, Nintendo’s popular exercise-at-home game increased its sales again last week, earning it sixth place in the chart. This is despite the fact it costs £69 (as it comes with its plastic fitness ring accessory).

The Switch version of Minecraft and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe both also made it into the UK boxed game top 10, while other Switch exclusives such as Super Mario All-Stars, 51 Worldwide Games, Super Mario Odyssey, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Pokémon Sword were in the top 20.

Elsewhere, some non-Nintendo games did get a look-in. FIFA 21 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla continue to sell well, and charted in fourth and fifth respectively.

And Cyberpunk 2077, which has been slowly sliding down the boxed games chart now for weeks, was in 20th.

Here’s the full top 10:

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  3. Just Dance 2021
  4. FIFA 21
  5. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  6. Ring Fit Adventure
  7. Minecraft (Switch)
  8. GTA5
  9. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
  10. COD BLOPS Cold War

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