Anyone looking for a major change to the UK all-format game chart will be sorely disappointed by the results of the week of August 6 to 12. The top three games remain the same for the third week in a row: Cars held pole position for the fourth week running, even though its film inspiration was knocked off the top slot by Miami Vice. Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and New Super Mario Bros. sit at numbers two and three, respectively.
With only a minor reshuffle, the rest of the top 10 remains largely unchanged. In fact, the only new entry in the top 20 is Monster House, which limped in at number 18. THQ's film tie-in only makes it into the top 40 at all after its second week on release, no doubt assisted by the release of the movie at cinemas last weekend.
The dominance of budget releases, and specifically The Sims, has been a big talking point of the British games industry this week. The Sims series and its add-on packs take up six places on the top 40 thanks to high-profile discounting from retailers such as Amazon and Woolworths. The story made the front page of UK trade magazine MCV, which reported concerns from independent retailers after The Sims games have been selling for as little as £5 each. According to MCV, "The fact that heavy discounting at [Woolworths] can elevate a handful of titles into the Top 40 demonstrates both the fragility of the summer market and the power of budget software."
One glance at the rest of the chart certainly provides evidence for the success of budget and low-price releases, with both Brain Training and Pro Evolution Soccer 5 holding onto prominent positions. Dead Man's Chest is the only Pirates of the Caribbean game to hang on in the chart, with The Legend of Jack Sparrow dropping to number 13, while Over the Hedge makes reappears by jumping up from 11 to 10. Another budget EA title to make it back into the top 10 was Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
Next week sees the release of ProStroke Golf: World Tour 2007 and Premier Manager 2006-2007, and it remains to be seen whether they can shake up the budget-dominated chart.