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Modern Warfare 3 emerged triumphant, but it was EA that was last yearís real victor. MCV analyses the full 2011 GfK?Chart-Track charts to unearth the winners and losers in a challenging year for the boxed games market.
It was another year in which Call of Duty and FIFA take the top two places in the GfK Chart-Track Top 100. The two games between them accounted for 10 per cent of the 55m games sold last year.
ACTIVISIONís Modern Warfare 3 sold over 3.1m units, a mighty impressive figure but slightly less than the 3.26m games Black Ops sold the year before.
FIFA 12 meanwhile shifted 2.44m games, 50,000 more copies than its predecessor. ELECTRONIC?ARTS was the only publisher to have two games that sold over 1m units with its FPS Battlefield 3 (No.3) selling 1.3m copies since its October launch. As a result, EA was comfortably the biggest publisher of 2011, and in total had 20 games in the Top 100.
It is worth noting the phenomenal success for small publisher 505 GAMES. The companyís Zumba Fitness (No.4) shifted almost 1.2m games for the year and topped the Wii charts. The title benefited from a lack of new software during the summer and scored 13 weekly No.1s in the process.
In a clear sign of how important Q4 is to the UK games market, eight of the 2011 Top Ten were released during the final three months of the year. And 51 per cent of the UK tradeís annual revenue was generated during this period.
The only two games not to have been released during Q4 and still break the Top Ten is the aforementioned Zumba and ROCKSTARís L.A. Noire, which is also the highest charting new IP. The game was released in May.
Otherwise, there isnít a great deal of new IP in this yearís chart - the notable exceptions being THQís Homefront at No.25, DEEP?SILVERís Dead Island at No.31 and two Bethesda titles (Rage at No.33 and Brink at No.39).
BETHESDA enjoyed a strong year during 2011, breaking into the Top Ten publishers at No.10. Aside from the two new IPs mentioned above, the firmís biggest hit was Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The acclaimed action RPG sold 1.14m games last year, proving to the industry that you can come out during the same week as Call of Duty and prosper.
LEGO developer TRAVELLERíS?TALES had five games in the Top 100. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean was the top seller at No.14.
Meanwhile, the dance craze continues in the charts. Just Dance 3 from UBISOFT was the biggest selling dance title, and sold over 900,000 units last year.
UK games market in 2011
The tough economy combined with the late stage in the console cycle took its toll on the boxed games market. The combined software, hardware and accessories markets generated £2.52bn, a 13 per cent drop over 2010.
The software market dipped seven per cent year-on-year to £1.42bn (although it was down 12 per cent in units). EA sold the most games, with Xbox 360 the the No.1 console in terms of software market share.
The accessories market was down 17 per cent year-on-year to £453m (or 13 per cent down to 22.4m units). Motion controllers accounted for 11 per cent of the accessories market in 2011 (units) and a huge 27 per cent by revenue.
A clear sign of the industryís position in the console cycle is the hardware figures, down 19.3 per cent to £646m, and thatís despite the arrival of Nintendo 3DS.
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