The best-selling title board video games of the decade are boring.
According to the NPD Group, seven of the ten most successful console video games in the United States since 2010 are part of the Call of Duty series. Two are from Rockstar Games (GTA V at # 1 and Red Dead Redemption 2 at # 9), while the last is Minecraft.
In the UK, as the BBC revealed this month, things aren’t much different: three of the top ten titles are Call of Duty and five are FIFA.
With this, we do not want to take away the merits of the success achieved by these games. The dominance of Call of Duty and FIFA shows just how strong these franchises have become, how successful the good publishers have been in pushing and developing these brands, and how much the public is buying the new chapters in this series each and every. year.
“No one denies the success of Rockstar and the military shooters in the United States. And we can’t pretend the UK isn’t obsessed with football. ”
Now let’s remove the more obvious parameters from the equation. UK charts only consider physical sales, so digital is a notable omission (although it’s unlikely that even including downloads, results will decline for titles like FIFA, for example). And certainly the different culture of the two markets must be taken into account. Brits love football and FPS) But go for it! Does the US market include a series that portrays its armed forces as heroes saving the world, and two video game series that reproduce the most iconic modern American cities and the Old West, respectively? It’s not at all strange.
And of course, these three IPs are extremely popular with the masses. Minecraft started out as an independent title, but has spent the last six years under Microsoft’s ownership and is perhaps the most affordable title for everyone on the list.
So it’s no surprise that each of them is so high in the rankings. It doesn’t make it any less boring that two super franchises dominate when we look at the situation from a larger perspective.
Watch the other Top Ten of the decade on the BBC, and you’ll see that the entertainment industry suffers from the same problem in some ways. Ed Sheeran has three positions in the best-selling singles and music albums, while 50 Shades of El James has three in the book rankings (and what did you think?). But no franchise or author comes close to the FIFA phenomenon, which occupies half of the games rankings.
Movies undoubtedly have the same problem as games, with Disney occupying at least seven positions in the top ten. But if you break that ranking down by franchise or internal division, we have: two from Star Wars, two from Marvel, two live-action remakes, and a Pixar sequel. Looking at the graph this way, there is certainly more variety than the UK game sales ranking.
The ranking of television programs was so dense that the BBC made a sub-ranking which excludes sports, in which only the factor X occupies more than one position. So we heard from GfK Entertainment, which is responsible for compiling the official UK and NPD game rankings, to see if the same has happened in our industry.
UK Top 10 Games of the Decade (excluding Call of Duty and FIFA)
- Grand Theft Auto V
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Red Dead Redemption II
- Battlefield 3
- Fallout 4
- Fair dance
- Just Dance 2
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Zumba Fitness
You see? Much more interesting. Of course, Rockstar still occupies two spots, but the rest of the board sees a number of other games. There is a fantastic RPG and post-apocalyptic RPG, another modern military shooter, Star Wars, a fitness game and a couple dedicated to dancing.
“The best-selling games of the previous decade (2000-2009) better reflect an innovative industry”
Zumba is a particularly interesting case. It was not a well-known video game brand, and was marketed by Majesco, one of the smaller publishers in the industry. Despite this, he managed to hold 13 weeks at the top of the weekly leaderboard, setting a record of 28 consecutive weeks at the top of the Wii games table. If we combine it with Ubisoft’s Just Dance couple, we have three dance / fitness titles on the UK’s top selling games list of the decade. All this obviously without counting Call of Duty and FIFA in sales.
In the United States, things are starting to change. Removing Call of Duty and Rockstar games from the list we have three Battlefield games (military shooters occupy the top 14 and 25), three Nintendo titles (Mario Kart 8, Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Smash Bros Ultimate – des experiences different from each other), Destiny, Star Wars Battlefront, Skyrim, and Minecraft (not in written order).
No matter how you shoot it, there is no way to deny the success of Rockstar or military shooters in the United States. Likewise, so does the British obsession with playing football on their couch. The public decides on the popularity of the products and has decided that Grand Theft Auto is in both markets.
But compare it to the ranking of the best-selling titles in the United States over the previous decade (2000-2009), established by NPD:
- Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
- Wii Fit
- Rock band
- Wii Play (with Wii Remote)
- Guitar Hero: World Tour
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
- Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare
- Mario Kart Wii
- Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
- Call of Duty World at War
It’s not entirely different, but looking at Nintendo titles on the cards, this list better demonstrates the industry’s innovation.
Of the three Nintendo titles, only Mario Kart Wii is part of a long-term franchise and stands out from the other two. Wii Fit has shown that there is a great deal of interest in games that are also good for health, while Wii Play (which has undoubtedly been a big success because it included a controller in the package) shows that Experiments with motion controls made the game accessible to a larger audience, a situation unprecedented in history.
Look at the rest of the leaderboard and you’ll notice more innovations. Guitar Hero and Rock Band kicked off their musical experiences with unique controllers that made you a true rock star. Mondern Warfare revolutionized both the series and the shooter genre in general. San Andreas is undoubtedly known as Grand Theft Auto which revolutionized the open criminal world, built on the basis of GTA 3 but reaching new heights of epic quality. Only Mario Kart Wii offered roughly the same experience gamers were already experiencing.
Now let’s go back to the best-selling games of the 10s. Grand Theft Auto V, although it follows the GTA 3 scheme (like almost every other game in the leaderboard open world), was designed with great skill and redefined the canons of entertainment by developing further with the online mode. Minecraft is also a standout title for the way it allows kids to express their creativity. But every Call of Duty on the list continues to repeat the Monder Warfare formula. Yes, it is true that each of them offers something new, but the formula is almost always the same. And the same can be said for FIFA every year: its driving force is Ultimate Team, which despite evolving year after year has always been based on the same pattern since 2008.
And maybe the latter explains why there is so little innovation in these rankings, it happens everywhere. Minecraft, although it debuted in 2009, is an example of a game that evolves over time, even before its release to the public. The result? The Early Access system which sees developers selling games that are not complete but are improving. FIFA Ultimate Team shows how monetization models evolve, making effective use of the loot box before the politicians and commissions that regulate games start to regulate AAA games.
“The most successful publishers at this point develop a model by offering ‘more of the same’ rather than trying something completely new”
Fortnite mixes the two, constantly updating itself to maintain its audience and generate billions without selling a base game (although Epic hasn’t regularly released the game’s product, so it’s not possible to make a conventional comparison). League of Legends, although launched in late 2009, has grown into a multi-billion dollar franchise, although (like Fortnite) we don’t have precise financial data.
There are other aspects of the market that may never be celebrated with these rankings. The mobile market as we know it originated in 2008 with the App Store, but has since grown into the largest segment of the entire gaming industry over the past decade. It’s fueled by free titles that become a staple part of a gamer’s daily agenda (as opposed to console games that are consumed on the couch when you have the time). Pokémon Go and Candy Crash don’t even appear.
And there have been attempts to invent new kinds of games over the past decade. We have seen the emergence of virtual reality which, although it has remained a niche market, creates a gaming experience unlike anything we have seen in the past. In the retail market, there has been the rise and fall of the lifelong toy genre with Skylanders and Disney Infinity. While none of the brands are at the top of the rankings, each has created new and strong demand for the industry. Nintendo has also followed this trend with the marketing of Amiibo figures.
But for a multitude of reasons, these innovations haven’t sold well enough to undermine historic super-franchises in the comfort zone. And so we end up with two top ten showing the traditional retail market, and consoles and PCs are largely dominated by a handful of franchises. The top performers at this point are developing a model offering more of the same rather than trying something completely new.
Looking forward to the next decade, with the rise of cloud gaming and the transition to the digital market, we can only hope that the classic PC and console market will evolve towards exploring new ideas for more. find others. reasons that attract people more. than walking the same endless road. It is to be hoped that the audience of these platforms (the one who decides on this ranking) widens to embrace more tastes and preferences. Not everyone wants to buy the same experience year after year. Hopefully, looking at the best-selling 1920s titles, non-gamers don’t think all gamers want to kill themselves in military shooters.
And we sincerely hope that someone (anyone) will do something better than Call of Duty. You’re welcome.