November 20th, 2020, 23:06 Posted By: wraggster
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War had a huge first week as a digital download in the UK.
Download launch sales are up almost 39% compared with last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare release, according to the latest GSD download report.
It follows a disappointing physical retail performance for the game. Black Ops Cold War sold 64% fewer copies at launch in a box compared with last year's Modern Warfare (GfK data), which meant that for the first time in 13 years the game failed to top the UK boxed charts.
However, if we now add in digital downloads (as predicted earlier in the week), Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War would have comfortably been No.1, with Assassin's Creed Valhalla coming in at No.2.
Despite the digital success, when combining digital and physical together, the new Call of Duty's sales are still down over 16% compared with last year's entry. It's worth remembering, of course, that a free-to-play Call of Duty battle royale game was released earlier this year, and it continues to be a big success, which may have impacted sales. In addition, PC data isn't included.
Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla is one of just a few new games that have been released in recent months that sold better as a physical release than a digital one. Even so, digital download sales for Valhalla are more than 200% higher than the last game in the franchise, 2018's Assassin's Creed Odyssey. In fact, the first week digital download sales alone for Valhalla are more than what digital and physical did combined for Odyssey. The Ubisoft game has been a phenomenal success, and its position as one of the main Xbox Series X/S launch title appears to have paid off.
In fact, because of the launch of the new Xbox consoles, both Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War were downloaded most on Microsoft's consoles over PlayStation 4, which is not something we would see in a typical week considering the higher PS4 install base in the UK. 55% of Call of Duty's download sales were on Xbox, while almost 58% of Assassin's Creed's digital sales were on Microsoft's machines.
One notable difference in the digital charts vs the physical charts is the absence of PS5 games. The PlayStation 5 has only just launched in the UK, and although PS5 physical games were available to buy last week, they were obviously unavailable to download. Even so, Spider-Man: Miles Morales was still the No.3 game in the digital download charts due to the PS4 version of the game. This version of the game narrowly sold more as a download than it did as a boxed release.
The other PS4 exclusive last week -- Sackboy's Big Adventure -- didn't perform as well. The 3D platformer missed the Top 40 digital chart entirely, but expect it to fare better next week when it arrives on PS5.
In terms of other new releases, Sega's Yakuza: Like A Dragon makes No.9, meanwhile the new XIII remake makes No.18. The XIII remake has been criticised in the media due to bugs and a move away from its comic book visual style. This appears to have inspired gamers to go and download the 2003 original, as that game actually returned to the charts and sold better than the remake -- it is currently in 16th place.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was the real No.1 last week | UK Digital Charts | GamesIndustry.biz
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