Marvel’s Avengers sells less than a third of PS4 Spider-Man in UK chart debut

Square Enix’s new Avengers game has only barely outsold Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, as the beta is blamed for putting people off.

Marvel’s Avengers is the new UK number one, but it’s not been the instant success Square Enix would’ve hoped for.

The game sold 71% less than Marvel’s Spider-Man from 2018, which was not only a format exclusive but also likely to have been considerably cheaper to make than Square Enix’s games as a service title.

Sales for Marvel’s Avengers are also only 2% more than developer Crystal Dynamics’ last game, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, which did not involve Square Enix paying for an extremely expensive licence from Marvel.

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Since it is a live service game, that is expected to receive new content for years to come, the fate of Marvel’s Avengers is not yet sealed, with many already pointing fingers at the underwhelming beta for putting many people off buying it and leading to cancelled pre-orders.

The situation is reminiscent of the Xbox 360 era, where demos were standard for almost every game, until publishers realised this put more people off than anything else.

For online games, betas have become the modern equivalent of demos but companies, especially Square Enix, may look again at how they’re handled after this release.

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Also of note is that the split between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales is quite extreme, at 73% to 27%, suggesting that Sony having the exclusive rights to Spider-Man may have made a difference.

It may well have but the week’s second biggest release, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, was actually slightly more, at 74% to 26%, despite no major exclusive content. Instead, the sales gap is likely to be because the originals are closely associated with the PlayStation brand, as was the case with Crash Bandicoot.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 becomes the fastest-selling Tony Hawk game since at least Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland in 2006 and sold 448% more than the launch of the disastrous Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 in 2015.

The final major new release last week was NBA 2K21, which experienced a 37% drop in physical sales from last year. By comparison its split between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One was unusually equal, at 57% on PlayStation 4, 41% on Xbox One, and just 2% on Nintendo Switch – with American sports brands always tending to do well on Xbox.

Because the games industry is run by crazy people that don’t own a calendar last week saw three major releases come out at the same time and yet there are no others of a similar size scheduled for the rest of the month – with the very important exception of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which was only announced on Thursday.

This week, for example, the biggest new title at retail is remaster Kingdoms Of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, which is unlikely to make much of a dent in the top 10.

UK all formats retail chart – 5 September

1 (-) Marvel’s Avengers (PS4/XO)
2 (-) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 (PS4/XO)
3 (-) NBA 2K21 (PS4/XO/NS)
4 (1) Animal Crossing: New Horizons (NS)
5 (3) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NS)
6 (5) Minecraft (NS)
7 (4) Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS4/XO/PS3/PC/360)
8 (7) FIFA 20 (PS4/NS/XO)
9 (6) Ghost Of Tsushima (PS4)
10(2) PGA Tour 2K21 (PS4/XO)

Ukie Games Charts©, compiled by GfK

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