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European game sales strong in February thanks to Helldivers 2 | European Monthly Charts

But a tough month for console sales

16.74 million video games were sold across Europe during February, according to the latest GSD data.

This is technically a rise of 21.2% over the previous February, however, February 2024 was a five-week month, whereas it was a four-week month in 2023. If we compare this year's number to the same five-week period in 2023, sales are actually down very, very slightly by 0.1%.

It's still a strong result. Last February saw the release of Hogwarts Legacy, which was a major smash hit. To give you an idea of just how big Hogwarts' launch was, its sales after five weeks was greater than the entire Top Ten for February this year.

It's also worth noting that Palworld, which would have been a big performer in February, isn't included in this data as that developer isn't tracked by GSD. So it's not unreasonable to think that February 2024 was actually bigger than 2023.

GSD tracks all games sold via physical retail in most major European markets, and digital sales from most major AAA publishers in all European markets.

The big standout game for the month was Helldivers 2 from Sony. The game was released simultaneously on PC and PS5, and over 56% of its sales came on the PC platform.

It also just kept on selling. Sales for the game increased 70% in its second week, then over 3% in its third week. It has slowed down since, but only slightly, with a sales fall of 28% in week four. As a comparison, most games drop in sales after one week, with falls of between 60 – 80% being the norm.

To give you a sense of how that game has done, after four weeks its sales are tracking 5% behind what Sony's previous blockbuster, Spider-Man 2, managed to achieve. Of course, Spider-Man 2 had a higher price point and was only available on PS5.

EA Sports FC 24 continues to do well at No.4, while we have another new release at No.3 in the form of Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth. The game was also available in a double pack with the original Final Fantasy VII: Remake, which makes No.39 in the charts.

Despite a strong critical reception, the second part in the Final Fantasy VII remake trilogy didn't match the performance of the first game, with opening week sales down 23% over its predecessor (including sales of the double pack). Of course, Remake arrived on a different platform with a bigger install base (PS4) and also launched during the early weeks of COVID-19 lockdowns, when games were in higher demand.

Compared with last year's Final Fantasy XVI release, which came out in June, launch sales of this new Final Fantasy are up just under 4%.

The next new game in the charts is Ubisoft's Skull and Bones, which makes No.9. The pirate game's opening three weeks are 30% lower compared with what Sea of Thieves managed during the same period back in March 2018. Sea of Thieves is coming to PS5 this April.

Outside of the Top Ten there's Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League at No.12. We know the game performed below Warner Bros' expectations, but to place its performance in context, its opening five weeks are 33% lower than what Gotham Knights managed in 2022, and 61% lower than what Guardians of the Galaxy managed in 2021.

And finally in the Top 20, Mario vs Donkey Kong debuts at No.15, and Pacific Drive comes in at No.18.

Console sales dip once again

GSD doesn't track all European markets when it comes to console sales. The two major markets missing are Germany and the UK (you can see the UK data here). But for the territories that are included, 474,469 games consoles were sold across Europe in February.

Technically, this is 11% up over the year before, but again this is due to the five week vs four week periods. If we compare the five weeks of February 2024 with the same five weeks in 2023, the actual sales are down 14%.

All three main platforms posted sales drops in February. PS5 is most resilient, with sales down just 2% year-on-year, Switch – which has just turned seven years old– is down 17%, while Xbox continues to struggle with Series S and X sales down 47%.

In terms of accessories and add-ons, 1.6 million of these products were sold across traced European countries, led by the PS5 DualSense and Xbox Wireless controllers.

European GSD February 2024 Top 10 (Digital + Physical)

Position Title
1 Helldivers 2 (Sony)
2 EA Sports FC 24 (EA)
3 Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (Square Enix)
4 Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar)
5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision Blizzard)
6 Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar)
7 Hogwarts Legacy (Warner Bros)
8 It Takes Two (EA)
9 Skull and Bones (Ubisoft)
10 Need for Speed: Heat (EA)

*Digital data unavailable

GSD digital data includes games from participating companies sold via Steam, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Nintendo Eshop. Major participating companies are Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Embracer Group (including Gearbox, Koch Media, Sabre Interactive), Focus Entertainment, Konami, Marvellous Games, Microids, Microsoft (including Bethesda), Milestone, Nacon, Paradox Interactive, Quantic Dream, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Take-Two, Tencent, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Nintendo and 505 Games are the notable absentees, alongside smaller studios.

Digital data includes games sold in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.

Physical data includes all games, but only those sold in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Console hardware sales cover Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Accessories sales cover the same markets, but doesn't include Switzerland.

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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