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Nintendo games dominating in 2009

Update: ELSPA amends misleading chart.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Wii Fit, Wii Play and Mario Kart Wii are the UK's best selling games of 2009 so far, according to GfK Chart-Track figures distributed by ELSPA.

With combined sales of 1.65 million units, the three titles make up 72 per cent of the sales volume of the top five best sellers. They're followed by Professor Layton and the Curious Village at number four, and the Sony first party title Killzone 2 at number five.

The Xbox 360 versions of Resident Evil 5 and Call of Duty: World At War take the number six and number nine places respectively, while EA gets one PC-exclusive title - The Sims 3, which was only released one month ago - into the number eight position.

ELSPA uses the latest data as evidence family-orientated and educational games have become the most popular genres with UK consumers, pointing to the sales figures for Wii Fit and Wii Play, as well as the continued success of Dr Kawashima's Brain Training, to illustrate its point.

Dr Kawashima sits at number seven in the chart and this year's sales now make it the most popular game in the UK ever, having sold over three million units.

"These figures are clear evidence that gaming is now mainstream in the UK," said Michael Rawlinson, director general of ELSPA. "The demographic has changed, so it’s time we did away with the misperception that videogames are merely the preserve of teenage boys shooting zombies. Innovation in the industry means the social and educational benefits of gaming are now enjoyed by players of both sexes and of all ages."

Overall, the performance figures for 2009 so far are the second best the UK has seen to date. Year-on-year sales are down 5.7 per cent however, with 29.7 million units sold compared to 31.5 million units for the same period in 2008. The results should still encourage the UK games industry though, according to Dorian Bloch, business group director of GfK Chart-Track, who commented:

"The videogame entertainment markets show that across software, hardware and accessories, the first half of 2009 is a solid platform for retailers, manufacturers and publishers to build momentum into the last quarter of 2009. The widening demographic and the growing trend in physical-motion gaming, means the industry is well positioned to see further growth."

The overall UK console installed base now stands at 24.2 million units - which is around the same number as there are UK households. The full install figures for each console as of June 27, 2009 can be found here.

This growth in popularity for gaming is further underlined in a report by the Neilsen Research for the Interactive Software Federation of Europe which shows that 33 per cent of the UK population between the ages of 30 and 49 describe themselves as 'active gamers' and 82 per cent say they play videogames with their children.

Update: ELSPA has contacted after releasing confused information in its original press release. The data first supplied refers to sales of individual format games, showing that the Xbox 360 SKUs of Call of Duty: World at War and Resident Evil 5 are more popular than the PlayStation 3 versions.

To help clarify data, it has also released a list of the top ten games in the UK for all formats. "Please accept ELSPA’s apologies for any misunderstanding or inconvenience caused," said the organisation.

The top ten best-selling games by individual formats for the first half of 2009 follows (revised):

  • 01 Wii Fit (Wii)
  • 02 Wii Play(Wii)
  • 03 Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
  • 04 Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
  • 05 Killzone 2 (PS3)
  • 06 Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360)
  • 07 Dr Kawashima's Brain Training (DS)
  • 08 The Sims 3 (PC)
  • 09 Call of Duty: World At War (Xbox 360)
  • 10 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)

The top ten best-selling games by all formats follows:

  • 01 Wii Fit (Wii)
  • 02 FIFA 09 (Xbox 360/PS3/PSP/Wii/PS2/DS/PC)
  • 03 Call Of Duty: World At War (Xbox 360/PS3/WII/PS2/PC/DS)
  • 04 Resident Evil 5 (Xbox360/PS3)
  • 05 Wii Play (Wii)
  • 06 Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
  • 07 Professor Layton And The Curious Village (DS)
  • 08 Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games (Wii/DS)
  • 09 Street Fighter IV (PS3/Xbox 360)
  • 10 Guitar Hero: World Tour (Wii/Xbox 360/PS3/PS2)

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