Early sales figures for the latest title in the Medal of Honor series are encouraging for the gaming sector in what is its most important trading period of the year.
The shooter game, available on platforms such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, went straight in at number one of the GfK Chart-Track this week and has already sold 1.5 million units since launching worldwide.
It is vital for the entertainment retail sector that games sales continue at this rapid pace after a year of sluggish trading for a number of the main players in the sector.
Game Group, for example, reported that like-for-like sales were down 10.9 per cent in the first six months of the year and revealed it was relying on making profit in the second half of 2010.
Gemma Hersh, Public Affairs and Policy Officer at the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE), the trade body for the UK’s wider interactive entertainment industry, said it was the “biggest ever launch week” for a Medal of Honor game.
But other titles have fared well too, with FIFA 11 - released just two weeks ago - the third biggest week one launch of all time behind Modern Warfare 2 and Grand Theft auto IV.
“This follows on from the success of Halo: Reach, which sold an estimated 300,000 units in its first 24 hours on sale in the UK,” Hersh explained, adding that Just Dance 2, Wii Party and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 are also firmly in the top ten.
But retailers will be hoping this is only the beginning of positive sales activity because last year 19.4 million units were sold in December alone at a total software market value of £437 million.
According to UKIE, more than a quarter of the unit sales and revenue generated in 2009 came from sales during December.
Hersh said: “There is no doubt that Q4 is extremely important to gaming retailers and the entertainment industry as a whole.”