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Starfield tops US sales charts but not Europe as Xbox sales fall

Starfield tops US sales charts but not Europe as Xbox sales fall
Starfield – it’s hard to measure success nowadays (Picture: Bethesda)

Although it’s a success in the US , Starfield is not the fastest selling Xbox exclusive in Europe, as a number of other games underperform.

Knowing for certain whether a particular video game has been successful or not has been all but impossible for several years now. Especially in Europe, digital sales are never revealed on a weekly basis, and sometimes not at all, while physical sales alone give an increasingly inaccurate indication of how well a game is doing, especially for an Xbox first party title like Starfield .

Because Starfield is also on Game Pass you’d generally expect less people than usual to buy a copy outright and while that is almost certainly the case it’s still managed to top the charts in the US. It hasn’t in Europe though, where there was actually a fall in Xbox console sales during September.

In fact, it was a bad month all round for game and hardware sales in Europe, with Mortal Kombat 1 and NBA 2K24 seeing sizeable drops when compared to their predecessors. Their underperformance is also what seems to have benefited Starfield in the US.

Starfield’s American launch saw it immediately become the seventh best-selling game of 2023, although many more people will have played it than bought it thanks to Game Pass.

It topped both the Xbox and PC charts, as the US market saw an overall 10% increase, despite an 8% drop in hardware sales – with Xbox up but PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch down.

September 2023 US Video Game Market Highlights from Circana – U.S. consumer spending on video game content, hardware and accessories grew 10% compared to a year ago, totaling $4.5B. Growth in spending on video game content and accessories offset an 8% decline in hardware. — Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) October 18, 2023

In Europe the situation has been very different, with Nintendo Switch and Xbox sales down on 2022 but PlayStation 5 up – although only because there were shortages this time last year.

According to , Mortal Kombat 1 sales were down 39% on 2019’s Mortal Kombat 11, while NBA 2K24 was down 17% on last year’s game. These figures include digital sales too, so that’s not the reason.

Starfield had to settle for second place in Europe, behind EA Sports FC 24 , but even then it still wasn’t the fastest-selling Xbox exclusive of the generation, with Forza Horizon 5 beating it by 13%.

USA Circana video game sales charts - September 2023*
Mortal Kombat 1
EA Sports FC 24
Madden NFL 24
Payday 3
NBA 2K24^
The Crew: Motorfest
Armored Core 6: Fires Of Rubicon
Hogwarts Legacy
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)

*August 27 to September 30 ^digital sales not included

EA Sports FC 24 saw sales fall by 10% on FIFA 23, although given the change in name that actually seems pretty good, and appears to show that EA’s marketing worked.

As usual, sales have very little to do with the critical response, not least in the fact that the much lambasted The Crew Motorfest was the only sequel to see an increase, of 6.5%, and was actually the second biggest seller of the month in France – perhaps because its developer is also French.

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If there’s one single reason for these declines it’s probably the ongoing cost of living crisis, with expensive video games not being top of many people’s shopping list.

While EA will likely be satisfied by the success of EA Sports FC 24 it’s much harder to guess how Microsoft feels about Starfield. It’s clearly been successful in the US, but it doesn’t appear to have had any effect on console sales in Europe, where Xbox remains weak.

The game also continues to drift down the Steam charts , and is now out of the top 30, so it’s going to be interesting to see where it ends up in the October charts for the US.

European GSD video game sales charts - September 2023
EA Sports FC 24
NBA 2K24*
The Crew Motorfest
Mortal Kombat 1
Payday 3
Grand Theft Auto 5
Red Dead Redemption 2
Titanfall 2
Hogwarts Legacy

*digital sales not included

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