Downloads Of Games Increased By 47% Across Europe In 2020

FIFA 21, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and GTA V were all big winners in Europe last year while digital sales soared to new record levels.


Mainland Europe saw a massive jump in not only video game sales in 2020, but also digital downloads of various titles. According to sales tracker GSD, which tracks both physical and digital sales of video games, 123.7 million sales were logged in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, France, Iberia, Nordics, and Poland alone, a 19% jump when compared to 2019's numbers according to the report via GamesIndustry.Biz.

Of those games sold by tracked publishers, 58.7 million of them were downloaded and accounted for a 47% rise in sales when compared to 2019. Even with lockdown restrictions in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 65 million boxed games sold resulted in a 0.8% increase across those markets.

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It's worth noting though that those particular sales numbers don't include Nintendo, Bethesda, and CD Projekt Red games, as those publishers do not share digital game sale numbers with the GSD.

Looking at the top games sold in those markets, football was unsurprisingly the best-selling title as FIFA 21 took the top spot in countries such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The only exception here was Finland, where NHL 21 reigned supreme.

What was a surprise though was Grand Theft Auto 5 taking the number two spot and several other older games also landed in the top ten. While digital download data wasn't available, Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons still secured the number three position on GSD's top 20, which had the knock-on effect of causing a 57% surge in strategy game sales.

GSD Annual 2020 Top 20 Video Games (Digital + Physical)

  1. FIFA 21
  2. Grand Theft Auto 5
  3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  4. FIFA 20
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  6. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
  7. The Last of Us Part 2
  8. Assassin's Creed Valhalla
  9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  10. Red Dead Redemption 2
  11. NBA 2K20
  12. Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  13. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  14. Cyberpunk 2077
  15. Minecraft: Switch Edition
  16. Ghost of Tsushima
  17. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  18. Ring Fit Adventure
  19. Just Dance 2020
  20. Super Mario Party

As for the actual devices that these games were played on, Nintendo's Switch console was the best-selling console of the year by a comfortable margin as it outsold the PS4--which took second place-- at a rate of three-to-one.

According to data taken from Benelux, France, Switzerland, Nordics, Spain, and Italy, there was a 1.9% drop in sales but 5.59 million consoles were sold in total. Revenue from these devices grew by 12% to €1.7 billion.

Sony's DualShock 4 controller was the best-selling accessory, followed by the Switch's Joy-Con controllers in second place, and Xbox controllers for both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. With €820 million in revenue generated, the accessories market saw a 14% rise when compared to 2019.

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