For the first time in several years, Activision’s Call of Duty franchise has failed to secure the retail chart’s top spot in the week of its launch. This honour goes to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which was the best-selling physical release in one of the busiest weeks for gaming in recent memory.
Last week saw the launch of Ubisoft’s latest open-world epic alongside Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and the duo of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. It’s likely the consoles also helped to shift a number of games over the period too.
The ongoing lockdown in the United Kingdom likely had an impact on physical sales last week too, with the majority of players shifting towards online retailers or digital versions of the latest games instead. It’s worth noting that digital sales aren’t included in these results, which could impact things heavily if they were.
Still, it’s a shock to see Call of Duty thrown off the top spot for the first time in 13 years. However, it still did remarkably well, with Activision stating it “set a new record as the highest first day digital sales worldwide in franchise history.” Such numbers won’t be available until later this week, but expect them to be fairly impressive.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has been marketed alongside Microsoft’s next-gen machines as a flagship launch title, while Sony hasn’t pushed Call of Duty nearly as much as usual due to its own commitments with the coming PS5 launch and titles such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls.
You can see the full top 10 list for yourself below:
Valhalla had three extra days on the market, which alongside the console launch definitely helped it secure more sales than usual, and player numbers already suggest it is performing well above the standard set by Odyssey. Given its popularity on PlayStation platforms, it is possible players are waiting until the PS5’s to pick up a copy of Cold War.