FIFA is best-selling video game franchise ever in UK – GTA is fourth

Fifa 22 Mbappe PS5 Xbox Series X screenshot

FIFA 22 – part of the UK’s favourite video game franchise (pic: EA)

A study of UK game sales over the last 27 years reveals Call Of Duty is the country’s second favourite franchise, with Mario in third place.

If you ask any random person to guess the two most successful video game franchises in the UK they would almost certainly say FIFA and Call Of Duty. Grand Theft Auto would also be in there somewhere, but new data reveals that it’s only the country’s fourth favourite.

The Top 30 list below covers all physical sales from 1995 to the present day, which adds up to 50 separate games for FIFA (including standalone World Cup titles and spin-offs like FIFA Street) and FIFA Manager). The first ever entry was FIFA International Soccer in 1993 on the Mega Drive.

Call Of Duty started in 2003 and has seen 32 entries since then, with at least one new game every year. Despite the UK being one of Nintendo’s weakest international markets the sheer volume of Mario games put it in third place, with chart tracker GfK counting 109 games, including the likes of Mario Kart, as belonging to the same franchise.

That means that despite Grand Theft Auto 5 being the best-selling boxed game of all-time, by a considerable margin, the franchise as a whole has had to settle for fourth place. That’s in part because there’s so few individual titles and also because Grand Theft Auto 5 is by far the most successful, accounting for 40% of overall sales.

Although the top four franchises are all originals the fifth is Lego, which up until recently saw multiple new releases every year.

11 of the 30 franchises involve an outside licence (technically including FIFA – although perhaps not for long), with Star Wars at number six and Marvel at number 13. And that’s despite a relative paucity of games based on either franchise in recent years.

According to licensed games have generated £2.8 billion in sales since 1995, out of a total of £26.3 billion over the last 27 years.

Interestingly, The Sims is the seventh most successful series even though EA hasn’t released a new mainline title since 2014. Sonic The Hedgehog is at 11 and yet despite two hit movies hasn’t seen a mainline entry in five years.

New titles will eventually emerge for both franchises but some of those in the Top 30 do appear to be entirely dormant, such as Nintendo’s Wii Fit (Ring Fit Adventure could be considered its spiritual successor), Guitar Hero, Pro Evolution Soccer (eFootball is unlikely to take up its mantle), and Skylanders.

The future of Crash Bandicoot is also unclear, after Crash Bandicoot 4 seemed to underperform, although once Microsoft completes its acquisition of Activision Blizzard that may quickly change.

UK top 30 selling video game brands by revenue

  1. FIFA (50 titles – EA)
  2. Call Of Duty (32 titles – Activision)
  3. Mario (109 titles – Nintendo)
  4. Grand Theft Auto (21 titles – Rockstar)
  5. Lego (77 titles – WB Games)
  6. Star Wars (113 titles – LucasArts/EA)
  7. The Sims (106 titles – EA)
  8. Pokémon (93 titles – The Pokémon Company)
  9. Assassin’s Creed (27 titles – Ubisoft)
  10. Need For Speed (30 titles – EA)
  11. Sonic The Hedgehog (55 titles – Sega)
  12. WWF/WWE (61 titles – Acclaim/THQ/2K)
  13. Marvel (106 titles – various)
  14. Wii Fit (3 titles – Nintendo)
  15. Tom Clancy (72 titles – Ubisoft)
  16. Guitar Hero/DJ Hero (18 titles – Activision)
  17. Pro Evolution Soccer (22 titles – Konami)
  18. Skylanders (6 titles – Activision)
  19. Battlefield (30 titles – EA)
  20. Tomb Raider (31 titles – Eidos/Square Enix)
  21. Halo (15 titles – Microsoft)
  22. DC Comics (43 titles – WB Games)
  23. Formula 1 (66 titles – Sony/EA/Codemasters)
  24. Gran Turismo (13 titles – Sony)
  25. Forza (13 titles – Microsoft)
  26. Harry Potter (13 titles – EA/WB Games)
  27. Crash Bandicoot (22 titles – Sony/Vivendi/Activision)
  28. Olympic Games (20 titles – various)
  29. The Legend Of Zelda (35 titles – Nintendo)
  30. PGA Tour Golf (46 titles – EA/2K)

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