In the dynamic landscape of the UK gaming industry, October 2023 witnessed a significant shift in sales patterns, marked by the absence of Call of Duty and the debut of several high-profile titles. Analyzing the data from both GfK and GSD sources, we delve into the key factors shaping the gaming market during this period.
Digital vs. Physical Sales
The digital gaming sphere experienced a notable 24% decline in sales compared to the previous year, with 1.6 million digital games sold, reflecting the absence of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, a major contributor to October 2022's robust numbers.
Contrary to the digital downturn, physical game sales demonstrated resilience, recording an 8% increase, totaling 1.08 million games sold. The timing of last year's Call of Duty launch in October played a pivotal role in this variance.
Notable Game Performances
Spider-Man 2 Triumph
Sony's Spider-Man 2 emerged as the best-selling new game, showcasing a sales performance that was 9% lower than its predecessor but a remarkable 94% larger than 2020's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. In comparison to another PlayStation heavyweight, God of War Ragnarok, Spider-Man 2 boasted a 2% increase in the first two weeks of sales.
Assassin's Creed Mirage and Super Mario Bros Wonder
Assassin's Creed Mirage, billed as a smaller installment in the series, experienced a 58% drop in sales compared to Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Meanwhile, Super Mario Bros Wonder secured its place as the third biggest physical game of the month, with impressive boxed sales that surpassed its predecessors.
Console Sales Landscape
PS5 Dominance and Xbox Decline
In the console hardware arena, the PS5 maintained a strong position, with a slight 4% dip in sales. Notably, 56% of PS5s sold in October were bundled with EA Sports FC 24. In contrast, Xbox Series S and X faced a significant 33% decline, attributed to the previous month's success driven by a new Xbox Series S model and the release of Starfield.
Nintendo Switch Resurgence
Despite a 15% rise in sales, Nintendo Switch secured third place, trailing behind the PS5 and Xbox. The release of Super Mario Bros Wonder contributed to this uptick, though the new Mario red OLED version represented only a modest 6.2% of Switch sales.
Market Share Dynamics
Examining the broader market share landscape, PS5 maintained a commanding 51% share over the last six months, while Xbox's share dwindled to 23%, and Nintendo Switch faced a notable decline to 25%.
In the accessories market, October 2023 witnessed a 12% drop in sales compared to September. The top accessories included the white DualSense, Carbon Black Xbox Wireless Controller, and Midnight Black DualSense, showcasing a consistent demand for these products.
October 2023 showcased a nuanced gaming landscape, marked by shifts in digital and physical sales, standout game performances, and evolving console market dynamics. As we navigate the final months of the year, the interplay of key releases and consumer preferences will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of the UK gaming industry.