NBA 2K20 has gone straight to the top of the combined charts for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The latest iteration in 2K’s sports simulation is a slightly surprising number one, despite the strength of the franchise.
Gears 5, on the face of things, is a new release with a bigger footprint. However, Microsoft’s latest AAA production enters the charts at a comparatively lowly seventh place. Its poor chart performance highlights a potential weakness in the way charts measure game success in an era when the way consumers access games is changing all the time.
Microsoft have proclaimed Gears 5 as their most successful launch in this console generation, citing the high number of Microsoft Game Pass subscribers who have accessed the game since its release. However, the EMEAA charts only measure physical and digital sales.
Gears 5 purchases have inevitably been hit by Microsoft making the game available via subscription. For obvious reasons few gamers will pay to purchase a game they can already play via an existing subscription and this has undoubtedly impacted the chart performance of Gears 5. But most of all, the chart is for the week ending on September 6, 2019, whereas Gears 5 released on September 10. Only Ultimate version owners had early access starting exactly on 6th, so this chart really encounters only a small fraction of Gears 5 sales. Next week’s chart should include the major sales and will probably place Gears 5 much higher in the charts.
Nonetheless, NBA 2K20 has produced a strong result in markets where basketball is not a leading sport. Indeed, given that the game has endured mixed reviews and complaints about the level of in-game monetisation its sales success will come as a relief to 2K.
There are a couple of other new entries to this week’s top ten. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, a remake of the popular PlayStation 1 game, enters the charts in second place. Catherine: Full Body, an unconventional puzzle game, made it as high as ninth in its first week of release – a respectable performance for a relatively low profile PS4 exclusive.
Three games which have been outside the top ten for a while pushed back up the charts this month. Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration enjoyed the biggest spike, jumping from 314th to 8th, while Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Red Dead Redemption 2 also made their way back into the top ten due to recent release on Switch.
Sales promotions and new online features undoubtedly played their part in the resurgence of the games.
The full EMEAA top ten best-selling games (combined digital and physical) for the week ending September 6, 2019 is below:
1. NBA 2K20
2. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
3. Rainbow Six Siege
4. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
5. Grand Theft Auto V
6. The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan
7. Gears 5
8. Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration
9. Catherine: Full Body
10. Red Dead Redemption 2