Animal Crossing: New Horizons is biggest Nintendo Switch launch ever in UK

Isabelle has thrashed Doomguy in the UK top 10, as Animal Crossing: New Horizons sells more than the launches of all previous games combined.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is set to be one of the biggest Nintendo Switch games ever, with a launch that’s 3.5 times bigger than 2013’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf and has beaten every other single Switch game so far (except Pokémon Sword and Shield combined, although they’re tracked separately in the UK charts).

The launch for New Horizons is bigger than the launch sales of all the previous Animal Crossing games put together, including spin-offs. And, of course, that’s only including physical sales, with digital sales likely to be higher than normal at the moment, given the coronavirus.

It’s an extraordinary (but not undeserved) leap in popularity for the series and confirms that many see it as the perfect game to wait out the coronavirus crisis with.

The news was less good for Doom Eternal, which had to settle for second place in the charts and saw sales drop by around 33% on 2016’s Doom reboot. That’s not unusual for a sequel coming out four years after the original, given the rise of digital, but it also doesn’t suggest much of an increase.

As you’d expect, the PlayStation 4 took the lion’s share of sales, at 59%, with the Xbox One accounting for 35% of physical sales and the PC just 6%.

Surprisingly, or not, last week saw a major increase in boxed game sales, with almost half a million sold in the UK in just seven days – three times more than the previous week.

That’s primarily because of the two major new releases but may also have been the video game equivalent of people stocking up before starting self-isolation.

There was certainly also a surge of interest in older games, with FIFA 20 up 326%, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare up 282%, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe up 100%.

This week is far less busy for new games, with the vast majority of sales for Microsoft exclusive Bleeding Edge expected to be online – especially as it’s on Game Pass. The only other notable releases are fighting game Granblue Fantasy Versus and Control expansion The Foundation.

UK all formats retail chart – 21 March

1 (-) Animal Crossing: New Horizons (NS)
2 (-) Doom Eternal (PS4/XO/PC)
3 (4) Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare (PS4/XO)
4 (5) FIFA 20 (PS4/XO/NS)
5 (2) Luigi’s Mansion 3 (NS)
6 (6) Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS4/XO/360/PC/PS3)
7 (12) Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4/NS/XO)
8 (25) Forza Horizon 4 (XO)
9 (24) Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (PS4/XO/NS)
10(14) Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4/XO)

Ukie Games Charts©, compiled by GfK

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