UK Charts: KOTOR II beats World of Warcraft to No.1

Strong competition for the top spot as Lucasarts and Blizzard vie for RPG supremacy.

LucasArts' Xbox and PC title Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has gone straight in at number one in the UK charts this week, narrowly beating Blizzard's hugely anticipated online game World of Warcraft.

KOTOR2 - an unwieldy acronym for a doubly unwieldy game name - sold significantly more in its first week than the first Knights of the Old Republic did, assisted by the fact that it rolled out on both PC and Xbox rather than on Xbox only like the original title.

World of Warcraft, meanwhile, topped the PC charts and achieved the highest launch week sales of any online-only title ever to be launched in the UK - not to mention the best launch week for any Warcraft game ever launched here.

Last week's number one, SEGA's Sonic Mega Collection Plus, dropped two places thanks to the arrival of the two RPG heavyweights, but it still managed to top the PS2 sales chart and actually saw its sales increase 42 per cent - a fantastic performance from a title which is essentially a retro compilation.

No other new entries troubled the all formats Top 40 this week, but THQ did see a great second week performance from The Spongebob SquarePants Movie, which climbed 12 places to enter the top ten at number six.

There weren't many other major releases last week, although we might have expected a chart appearance for Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (PC, Xbox) if it hadn't had the misfortune to be released alongside two of the biggest RPGs in months.

This Friday sees the arrival of several titles which should make a mark in the charts, however - most notably Tecmo's Dead or Alive Ultimate on Xbox and LucasArts' critically acclaimed Mercenaries (think Grand Theft Auto in a war zone) on Xbox and PS2.

Namco's SCEE-published Ace Combat 5: Squadron Leader also pops its head up this week, while Atari will also be hoping to entice buyers with DRIV3R Platinum and Driver Xbox Classics on PS2 and Xbox respectively.

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Rob Fahey

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