In 2020, 67% of video games sold in the UK were digital, according to a report from Games Industry. Of the 42.7 million games sold in that territory throughout the year, 24.5 million were digital, an increase in 74% from 2019. And the total number of games sold was 34% higher than in 2019, despite the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
The shift to an all-digital future seems to be happening faster than many had expected — which has been sped up by the pandemic, as consumers have been buying more games from home to avoid going out in public. Digital game sales have been steadily on the rise recently, but have skyrocketed following the pandemic, not just in the UK, but globally.
The Games Industry report features a breakdown of the bestselling UK games throughout 2020, which we'll list below (note that games are ranked by number of copies sold, not dollar sales — and boxed/digital sales are taken into account, unless noted otherwise).
- FIFA 21
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Grand Theft Auto 5
- FIFA 20
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons* (Digital data not provided)
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla
- The Last of Us Part II
- NBA 2K20
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
Unsurprisingly, FIFA 21 was the bestselling UK game of the year, reaching 2.2 million copies sold in 2020. The runner up, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War sold 1.42 million copies, though was down 19% when compared to 2019's Modern Warfare. Speaking of which, Modern Warfare still managed to crack the top 10, taking the fifth spot with 897,000 copies sold.
One highlight of the list is Animal Crossing : New Horizons, a game that Nintendo does not provide digital sales stats for. This means it managed to reach the sixth spot at over 810,000 copies sold, by only counting its boxed sales. And since digital copies account for the majority of games sales, it's safe to assume New Horizons would be much closer to the top spot on the list. It managed to sell over 26 million units worldwide as of September 30, 2020, making it one of the fastest-selling Nintendo games ever (considering it launched in March 2020).
We'll provide more sales breakdowns for the United States and globally as more information becomes available.