Sea of Thieves is No.4 as Black Friday transforms UK Charts

EA, Activision, Microsoft and Nintendo were the big Black Friday winners at UK games retail.

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Legendary_N10d ago

"Unsurprisingly, last week's new releases Shenmue III and Football Manager 2020 are absent from the Top 40 this week."


sushimama10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

"The most popular console in terms of game sales (we haven't received any hardware indication yet) was PS4." - of course they don't mention this in the titles or the opening blurb.

To your post, that's why no company put money into paying for Shenmue 3. Most people have no clue about the previous games. Kick-Starter was a great option. The game got made for the fans. The game flopped, but no one got hurt much by it's failure.

Ausbo9d ago

Yeah because it’s not a story for the PS4 to win the sales war.

Mr Pumblechook9d ago

Great sales numbers for Xbox One! Now Microsoft can take this as proof that Xbox owners prefer multiplayer-only games and should concentrate on making these types of games for Scarlett. Leave the single-player quickly disposable titles to the likes of Nintendo and PlayStation.

uptownsoul9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

"Sticking with bundled software, PlayStation was aggressive with sales around its VR headset once again (as promised by PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan), and thus games for this device returned to the charts. PlayStation VR Worlds (No.14), Astro Bot Rescue Mission (No.18), Skyrim VR (No.20), Resident Evil 7 (No.23) and Everybody's Golf VR (No.25) are all back in the Top 40."…

Always remember, nobody's asking for VR!!!

Obscure_Observer9d ago


"Always remember, nobody's asking for VR!!!"

*On Xbox*

Phil Spencer is right to not bring an official VR unit to Scarlett. I rather see Microsoft support third party like Oculus and Index down the line.

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Septic10d ago

XGP isnt cannibilising sales as people thought it would. Sea of Thieves has some long legs for sure.

IRetrouk10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

These are bundle sales, (according to the author) what would gamepass have to do with these numbers? I dont get how a bundle sale or new sale means a game service is or isn't affecting a games sales, especially when the game came with every xbox sade bundle, these new sales for sea of thieves have no relation to the effects gamepass has on sales, good or bad.

Obscure_Observer9d ago


Those numbers shows how Sea of Thieves is a successful and popular game in UK. Specially considering that a Minecraft bundle was also avaliable.

IRetrouk9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Minecraft was right behind it at number 5 with just over 500 units less, what's your point? again I dont see how a game that was bundled with every sade edition console has any bearing on gamepass good or bad, that was the discussion, as for it being popular and successful, it's done well but again these bundled sales dont represent that either, you couldn't buy a sade console without sea of theives🤷‍♂️

gravedigger9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Sea Of Thieves WAS BUNDLED!

So, selling a PHYSICAL disc ( since UK charts only count bundles and physical copies ) with Xbone SAD. Oh, the irony!

Wasabi9d ago (Edited 9d ago )


***"what would gamepass have to do with these numbers?"***

Join the dots, there's a reason Sea of Thieves and Minecraft placed #4 and #5 in the UK charts this week after years on the market, and it's not because of a sudden influx in people wanting to play these games.

Look at the Sea of Thieves Bundle, what possible reason is there for someone to buy a SKU that doesn't ship with an optical drive?

The answer is in your question.

IRetrouk9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

I'm not asking why people are buying the console, I'm asking how does a games sales, that was bundled with every sade edition, and some of the normal s consoles too, equate in any way to gamepass cannibilising sales or not? I do agree that gamepass would be a draw to buy the disc less console though, but I wasnt questioning that and it has nothing to do with my comments.

Wasabi9d ago (Edited 9d ago )


Having read your comments and re-read the article, I have to say I actually agree with you.

There isn't a direct correlation between sales of 'S AD and whether GP is or isn't cannibalising game sales, the data just isn't there.

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djplonker9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Just checked amazon uk and you can't even buy sea of theieves from them only 3rd party sellers.

Tesco was selling all digital xbox ones for £109 guess what one of the included games was? lol

ocelot079d ago

Lidl was also selling the Sad edition for £99 with 3 games.

P_Bomb9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Same here. Stores don’t tend to overstock games a year and a half after release in the hopes they’ll actually start selling one day. Unlike digital, shelf space has limits. I haven’t even seen a physical copy of Minecraft in ages and that was a megahit.

Bundles are just that. I got a 360 bundle with Halo Wars and I thought it was trash. I already have 3 copies of Minecraft. I’d go for the SoT bundle too. Nothing to do with GP.

Spurg10d ago

"Shenmue III debuted in fourth place in the Japanese charts last week, selling less than 18,000"

"the remastered collection of Shenmue and Shenmue II sold twice as many units when it launched in 2018."

"Shenmue III failed the top ten in the UK as well."

Where was the marketing team? Sony and deep silver have the marketing rights to Shenmue III and they failed it. This is the second time this year that Sony has failed to properly market a games that they have exclusive marketing rights to, Control failed to reached the top 20 when it was released.

littletad10d ago

From what I'm seeing, it seems they spent every marketing power they had on Death Stranding.

UltraNova10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

This was a game for the fans. This series is dated so no one was expecting big numbers. I presume anyone who wanted this game crowdfunded it, so any retail sales are a bonus.

Btw Sony was not paying the bills, they just did some promotion namely getting the word out on the crowdfunding project.

If anyone has info on this deal they can post it.


Just read Rainslacker's comment bellow, lol.

Sciurus_vulgaris10d ago

Shenmue has never been a high selling franchise.

Elda10d ago

The Shenmue games has always been a niche series.

gangsta_red10d ago

That is something to think about though. Sony was extremely proud to bring the Shenmue creator on stage and announce the game and tell folks they were going to market it.

And yet there was zero.

Sounds like it was nothing more than a PR stunt for their E3 show.

MasterCornholio10d ago

Well I guess they helped sell his Kickstarter. At least that's what I thought the event was for more than anything.

danoman6410d ago

Maybe because Sony didn't fund the game or own the rights. Given the game went on kickstarter, one can guess Sony wasn't fitting the bill for that, so why should they advertise for it. Sony giving them a stage to announce their game doesn't meet they should advertise or promote the game.

rainslacker10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

I don't recall Sony saying they were going to fund the marketing. That would be on Deep Silver. Thought they just put them on stage to bring attention to the kickstarter. I don't recall Sony doing any marketing for the game other than that, outside putting it on the front page of the PSN store, and having a couple blogs about it.

According to this,

Sony was just marketing the Kickstarter, and doing some publishing support....the latter of which is pretty vague. The Kickstarter was to gauge customer interest so the publisher could decide how much to fund it if I remember correctly.

I don't think the publisher put much marketing into this game at all. Ys.Net seemed to have done most of the work through social media marketing.

gangsta_red10d ago (Edited 10d ago )


There were very early reports that Sony would be involved with the marketing.


Maybe deals changed and something didn't fall through but whatever it was there was definitely next to zero marketing involved from Sony.

I'm sure Sega knew the game would be a bust. The first two sequels failed and there really isn't any Western appeal for a game with that name.

TheColbertinator10d ago

What let me down was Sega's lack of involvement in Shenmue 3. Guess they want it out of their picture.

rainslacker10d ago

Both those articles state that Sony isn't actually involved in it. There was a partnership, but it wasn't to the extent that it was first assumed.

They probably weren't completely out of the production, and assisted Ys.Net in some way. But nowhere did it appear they were going to be involved in any marketing other than with the Kickstarter. I don't think anything changed after the KS reveal, just some confusion over what Sony was doing based on vague statements which had terminology which usually means more being done.

gangsta_red9d ago


I don't know what you're reading but both articles specifically says that Sony would be involved in it's marketing.

And yes it was all vague and still is which just proves it was more of a PR stunt for Sony's E3.

rainslacker9d ago

One article was specifically about how there was a misunderstanding about what Sony was doing. I read both articles, even looked one up before I replied to you, and while sony did say marketing involvement, the scope of that was misconstrued to mean for the duration of the production, when sony was only talking about marketing the KS.

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Skate-AK10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

I actually saw a few ads about it on YouTube but they were placed by Epic Games.

TFJWM10d ago

Pretty much anyone that wanted Shenmue crowdfunded it. Game sales of it will be word of mouth at this point. It never had a huge market.

timotim10d ago

IMO Yu should have went full on multiplat with this title...its should have been everywhere...launching on PS4 and EGS only was a mistake when Shenmue 1&2 outsold a game that was 18 years in the making...

9d ago
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caparo9210d ago

The most popular console in terms of game sales (we haven't received any hardware indication yet) was PS4, with just shy of 500,000 games sold during the week.

CaptainTravel10d ago

Weird how the Xbox One sold over 400,000 games given the huge lead the PS4 has.

Looks like Sea of Thieves has a long life still ahead.

MasterCornholio10d ago

Well this is just the UK the rest of the world might be a very different story. To my knowledge the GAP is closest in the UK and the US.

CaptainCook10d ago

Yeah, the UK doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving though....

ThoedEssay7739d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Who mentioned Thanksgiving?

Kiwi6610d ago

We have it here in New Zealand

Kiwi669d ago

Guess one person doesn't know that Black Friday is celebrated in 50-60 % of countries around the world

ThoedEssay7739d ago

Greetings from the best country in the world.

RosweeSon10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

Yeah a poor mans version, get rid of any old 💩
I’m from U.K and can get some deals but it’s mainly just old stock being shifted and nothing to exceptional.

rainslacker9d ago

That's basically all BF is here in the states outside the doorbusters. Maybe a few good deals mixed in. TVs in particular are just moving out the old versions to make way for the new, and theyll be close to that price after the holidays anyways.

This year's BF was pretty disappointing. Amazon sucked for BF and cyber monday, and for some unknown reason, after a decade they cant separate actual video games from any and all electronics that somehow have a connection to PC hardware or headphones, so I'm wading through pages of crap just to find one or two disappointing video game deals....and yes, that was just me going on a rant.:)

ScootaKuH9d ago

Yeah but it shouldn't. We don't have Thanksgiving so we shouldn't have Black Friday. It's just one of many American "imports" we have

MasterCornholio9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Spain doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving either but they have black Friday.

Truth is black Friday is really just a marketing tool to drive sales and get rid of old stock. Which is why you see many country's adapt it.

rainslacker9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

I guess it's reasonable other parts of the world would want to mimick a successful and highly anticipated sales day. I mean, the countless other random holidays 2-3 times a month cant be enough


Bf started because retailers knew a lot of people started their xmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Was a nice, not quite arbitrary date that they competed for customers over. The name black Friday came later after it became a kind of urban legend that it was a terrible day to go shopping. Retail didnt originally call it that, and was more a Thanksgiving sale.

This years black Friday was kind of disappointing to me. I was hoping for some better tool sales at the home improvement stores, but they all kind of sucked and weren't any better than what they normally have all year long

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timotim10d ago

So you mean to say that even though Sea of Thieves is included in Gamepass, that gamers around the world still purchase it!?!? But I was told that no gamer would actually buy a title that's included in Gamepass...🤔

gangsta_red10d ago

It's almost as if not everyone subscribes to Game Pass and that the games offered on there are still available to be purchased physically or digitally.

timotim10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

Interesting indeed. Amazing how that works. So for those without XGP, they can still purchase these titles as we've always been able to? And that Microsoft can generate money through subscription service and retail purchases at the same time...this is madness!!!

IRetrouk10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

It came with every single xbox sade unit sold, these are bundle numbers, people wernt going out and buying the game in it's own, it came with their console, what that has to do with it being on gamepass or its relation to game sales is hard to understand to be honest.

ElementX10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

The game codes are in the console box, which has its own SKU number. Furthermore, the article says 1.3m physical games were sold. The SAD doesn't have physical games. I think the author is either stupid or doesn't explain himself very well. He talks physical sales then brings up bundled games, which as far as I know aren't physical, they are download titles. Which is it? At the register they ring up the box, not bundled games

@tim below: exactly, if they we're counting bundled games those would've sold the same or close

timotim10d ago

Doesn't that bundle come with 2 other games as well in Forza Horizon 3 and Minecraft?

IRetrouk10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

The author states that's its bundled numbers, if hes wrong then great, but how do these new sales relate to the game being on gamepass being a good or bad thing? That was my question.

rob-GP10d ago


From the article:

"Hardware bundles played a major part in the Black Friday charts and it's most explicit at No.4 where you will find Sea of Thieves - an Xbox One game that launched in March 2018. Sea of Thieves was included in all variety of bundles for the Xbox One S All-Digital console. which was on sale for between £110 to £140 during Black Friday (arguably the most aggressive hardware offer last week). Minecraft was also included in those Xbox One S bundles and that game is at No.5 (just over 500 units behind Sea of Thieves)."

Yeah, the first paragraph mentions physical games but the UK charts now report on both digital and physical games, so pretty much every copy of Sea of Thieves sold was as part of the bundles it was thrown in with. Some people will have picked it up in the sale too, but as per the article, the majority will be due to the console sales.

Also, bundles record the packaged game when sold - so if a SAD with three games was sold, all three games count as a sale as they know that console included those games. However, there were other bundles with SoT added as an extra, so they will have been put through separately and not as part of the SAD bundle, hence why the other games aren't in the top 20.

ElementX10d ago (Edited 10d ago )

Thanks for the explanation. The article wasn't very clear. I wasn't aware digital games are included, I know that NPD will disclose them if publishers participate and I know Microsoft doesn't disclose digital sales numbers. I'm not sure how things work in the UK however I figured they would probably be similar. I've searched several times and I can't find anything online that says bundled games are counted as individual sales, so who knows

yomfweeee9d ago

@ElementX it isn't that hard to understand.

The reason these sites don't include digital sales is because Sony/Microsoft don't release those numbers. So, they can only report on what was sold in a box. Even though it is a "digital" code, it was in a "physical" bundle... so they know a sale occurred and count it.

rainslacker9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Assuming it doesnt include the bundled versions, it makes one wonder if people are actually informed about game pass, or if they intend to get game pass, because why buy the game if it's free on game pass?

I cant imagine enough people would just really really want to own a physical copy of the game which requires a network connection, so long term collectibility is pretty moot.

Not saying there wouldnt be some...but enough to chart at #4? That seems highly suspect for a game as old as SoT.

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djplonker9d ago


The biggest deal in the past week on hotukdeals has been a £109 all digital xbox with sea of theieves and minecraft + 2000 v bucks

No forza.

timotim9d ago

Ive been trying to do some research on it (I'm in the US and cant find that bundle), I did locate a bundle with SoT, Minecraft and Fortnite though. Do you have a link for the bundle you have mentioned? Here is the one that I found.

timotim9d ago

Ok the one in your link also includes Fornite. They just added on the V bucks...

"Enter three of the most compelling video game franchises with included downloads of sea of Thieves, Fortnite battle Royale, and Minecraft"

It's interesting because Fornite is not on the list. If these games are only up there because of this bundle, wouldn't Fornite also be right there with the rest of the games included? Could SoT have also benefited from the 50% off deal that was running during Black Friday as well?

IRetrouk9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

Fortnight is at 24, it wasnt in all sade bundles, sea of thieves was, along with minecraft, which is at position 5, according to the article, theres just over 500 copies difference between sea of thieves and minecraft, obviously not every single copy sold would have been a bundle, dont change the fact that that is where the majority of the sales came from.

timotim9d ago


The only problem I have with your theory is that their are no other bundles (All Digital or otherwise) that I could find that includes SoT, yet doesn't include Fortnite. The only way to get a All Digital bundle, or any Xbox bundle with SoT is to also get it with Fortnite. Here is all of the official bundles that Microsoft has

djplonker9d ago (Edited 9d ago )


No it only includes the battle royal mode of fortnite

that has a better description.

IRetrouk9d ago (Edited 9d ago )

It's not a theory, the author states that these sales came from being bundled, there were sade edition bundles with and without fortnight stuff, some of them only offered the battle royal mode along with some vbucks and a costume, some of them offered horizon 3, but the only two full games that came with every single sade edition was sea of thieves and minecraft, like it, dont, that's up to you, you have been shown and told countless times these are bundle numbers, even the articles author points it out, why you dont want to believe that is anyone's quess, but it is what it is🤷‍♂️

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