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EA’s latest Need For Speed fails to break the Top 10 of UK boxed chart

As retailers approach the Holidays, the big-budget titles that have dominated the past few months remain at the top of the chart. This week’s latest releases could not break into the top 5, with Need For Speed posting the most disappointing launch of a Triple-A title all year, debuting in the 17th spot. The only other new big releases for the week, have significant caveats attached to their performance.

Need for Speed Unbound is a disappointment, the latest entry from the 10th biggest franchise in UK history, is down 64% from Need for Speed Heat, which came out in 2019. With minimal marketing bringing the media coverage down to almost zero, and most outlets resorting to “there’s a surprise release this week”, there is hope that good word of mouth will help sales recover soon. 78% of physical sales were on the PlayStation 5.

The Callisto Protocol is from a significantly smaller developer, Krafton, but posted an incredible debut for a new IP at No. 6. With middle-of-the-road reviews, The Calisto Protocol is a spiritual successor to Dead Space, and of this year’s releases, is closest to Dying Light 2. Selling 17% less than Dying Light 2 did during its first week of sales is a decent start for a new property, with 74% of all The Calisto Protocol sales taking place on the PlayStation 5.

The last of the new releases, Marvel’s Midnight Suns from Firaxis, sold poorly in physical sales which were to be expected, coming in at number 26 on this week’s chart. A tactical strategy game developed primarily for PC, the lack of a physical PC option hampered expectations.

This week’s data included Cyber Monday, with big titles getting big discounts and putting up big numbers for another solid overall week. FIFA 23 continues to dominate despite a 47% sales drop, while Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 only declined 6% week-on-week.

The recent platform exclusives, God of War Ragnarok and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, all continue to perform well for Sony and Nintendo respectively. God of War increased 7% from last week, moving up 2 spots to number 3, while the Pokemon titles continued slipping, falling to 4 and 6 with a 30% sales drop each.

Finally, in an odd footnote, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle climbed all the way up to number 18. That means the 2017 title outsold its sequel, the recently released Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope.

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