FIFA 19 physical launch sales are down 25 per cent in the UK.
Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz reports FIFA 19 is the biggest UK video game of 2018 after going on sale last week, as expected, but physical launch sales are down by a quarter versus FIFA 18.
According to the site, 64 per cent of the sales were of the PlayStation 4 version, 35 per cent were of the Xbox One version, leaving just one per cent for the Nintendo Switch version. Sales of the legacy version of the game (PS3 and Xbox 360) were too low to register.
It’s worth contextualising this stark sales drop. Each year, more and more people turn to download rather than buy discs, so physical sales are expected to decline. In fact, EA encourages this shift, selling limited early access to FIFA 19 via its Origin program, which you can then upgrade to the full version with a discount while carrying your progress across.
But a 25 per cent drop in physical sales is bigger than most predicted for FIFA 19, so perhaps we’re seeing the Fortnite effect in play here. There’s a great deal of overlap of FIFA and Fortnite players in the UK, and with FIFA 19 launching the same week as Epic’s battle royale kicked off its hotly anticipated season six, perhaps the kids were happy to keep on shooting for free rather than ask their parents for £40 for the new FIFA.
Whatever the case, UK games retail, which relies on FIFA as one of the year’s biggest revenue drivers, will be wincing after a tough weekend.
It goes without saying FIFA 19 shoots straight to the number one spot in the UK chart, knocking Spider-Man off its pedestal. Sega’s Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the only other new release in the top 40, placing ninth.
Here’s the top 10:
- FIFA 19
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy
- Grand Theft Auto 5
- Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- NBA 2K18
- Valkyria Chronicles 4
- Minecraft: Xbox Edition