Top Selling PC Games 2010 Are Predictable

By John Walker on January 10th, 2011 at 1:48 pm.

This is what you want, is it? IS IT?

We spend our days deep in the mines, swinging mighty pickaxes against the hard rocks of gaming, trying to find those precious jewels for you to enjoy. And what do you go and buy? Well, you lot reading this, you go and buy excellent things like Amnesia and Minecraft and Neptune’s Pride. Because you’re brilliant. But the rest of the UK are spoiling it, meaning the top five PC games of last year are… well, they’re not that bad really. It’s just that number 1 and number 2 are the same flipping game. But then, at least none of them is another Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The list is below.

UKIE (I won’t tolerate their lowercase font) revealed the UK’s best sellers of 2010 today. Black Ops dominates the console lists, but doesn’t even show up on the PC’s. Ours looks like this:

01. Football Manager 2011
02. Football Manager 2010
03. The Sims 3
04. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
05. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

SI must be rolling around in million pound notes, especially printed by the Royal Mint to make it possible to fit all their money into one giant Rolling Around In Money Room.

Blizzard also claim a double, meaning they’ll finally have the funds to add another planet to their solar system where they store the cash.

EA’s ever-reliable The Sims probably hasn’t not been in the yearly charts for a hundred years. I’m too sitting down to check. But it’s hard to resent it quite as much as we used to, with The Sims 3 being quite so impressive, and the ghastly noise of cash-grabbing add-on packs having calmed in my ears.

Join us again next year!

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57 Comments »

  1. The Great Wayne says:

    I think my inner gamer just died a little inside.

  2. colinmarc says:

    Why do I have to give my money to EA for Dragon Age 2? Why can’t I just give it to bioware? It makes me mad. And sad.

    • Bhazor says:

      Because it’s EA who funded every part of development maybe?

    • Nick says:

      “Because it’s EA who funded every part of development maybe?”

      Wasn’t it in developement before they were bought by EA?

    • Setroc says:

      I don’t think that EA are that bad any more. Activision and Ubisoft are the new EAs (not in a good way).

    • bob_d says:

      @Setroc: Well, EA are still horrible to their workers, so we can still safely hate them.

    • MattM says:

      EA still is really bad at patching their games. The games come out in decent shape, but that’s pretty much it. Only major game stopping bugs have much hope of being patched and it often takes more than six months. DLC seems to come out pretty quickly though.
      Ex. In Dragon Age daggers’s damage calculation was broken, it took 9 months to patch.
      Ex. In Dead Space, using continue game to load your latest save resets the game’s difficulty to normal. (Making the game so easy it loses much of the tension) Despite being easily reproducible, EA never bothered to patch it.

    • bookwormat says:

      “I don’t think that EA are that bad any more. Activision and Ubisoft are the new EAs (not in a good way).”

      And Activision and Ubisoft’s heads can be totally relaxed about this, knowing that they can milk you for nine years and then win your heart back in one.,

    • Stromko says:

      To me, EA’s villainy is only magnified by time. They lobotomized Origin Systems, while Maxis and Lionhead weren’t allowed to make good games for going on 10 years.

      Sims 3 was an improvement, Fable II was alright, and Bioware has continued to make great games (just like before their acquisition), but they’re all just sequel houses now. Even KotOR Online is a continuation of an old IP, and threatens to consume and marginalize Bioware just as UO destroyed Origins.

    • Joshua says:

      But Bioware has made a lot of sequels before they were taken over by EA as well… One of which has been hailed as the greatest RPG of all time.

  3. man-eater chimp says:

    Does this include Digital downloads? As I didn’t think Steam (and I guess others) released their figures…

  4. Sergey Galyonkin says:

    Also, note, that all five are PC exclusives (yes, I know about Sims 3 for consoles – it’s blasphemy!). Guess that means quick and dirty console ports don’t work anymore.

    • Baboonanza says:

      Or that the only games people buy on PC are games that they can’t buy on their console instead?

      Additionally, since this presumably only covers retail shops the list is no suprise. Those 5 games are probably the only PC games you can actually buy at retail.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      Or that the only games people buy on PC are games that they can’t buy on their console instead?

      Precisely! But why?

      Those 5 games are probably the only PC games you can actually buy at retail

      There is no Black Ops here, and I suppose it was everywhere, right? Same goes for FIFA 11.

    • The Hammer says:

      While the state of the retail industry for PC games is pretty poor, there is still a modest collection of games to be found if you look at, say, GAME. At least where I live, the situation isn’t as bad as made out.

      …yet.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      It just means the list was only compiled from PC games.

      Edit: As you all already know, I can’t read.

    • Stromko says:

      The Sims franchise really is a PC exclusive, as far as everything that makes it an actual worthwhile game goes. They released Sims 3 (and 2) on every console and device they could get their hands on, yes, but they are completely different– linear, with pre-defined neighborhoods and situations, little more than adventure games with lame plots and minigames everywhere. There was ‘MySims’ for the Wii, which actually let you design houses and perhaps make your own families and so on, but that’s the only exception./

  5. The Hammer says:

    It would be nice to see the rest of the top ten of this list. But oh well.

    @man-eater chip:

    “UKIE works with GfK Chart-Track to compile weekly, monthly and annual retail charts and sales reports for the UK market.”

    Retail only, I’m afraid.

  6. Jimbo says:

    I didn’t buy Amnesia, Minecraft or Neptune’s Pride.

    I take it the PC chart still only counts box copies?

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I bought Amnesia during the Steam sales but I’m refraining from playing it until I’ve completed the 3 Penumbra games first (which would involve starting playing the Penumbra games first).

      I refuse to buy Minecraft but I’ve played some Neptunes Pride with friends.

    • Stromko says:

      There are legitimate reasons not to want to play Minecraft, I just hope you aren’t avoiding it simply because it’s too mainstream? Take that with a grain of salt, anyway, I still refuse to play World of Warcraft even though I loved it in beta.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I gave it a go when he did the free weekend when his servers were down & I find I prefer to play actual games rather than a bunch of stuff which doesn’t do much. It’s probably a lot better since then going by the updates but it’s still got a long way to go before it’s interesting enough to grab me (note I have played a lot of Dwarf Fortress over the last 2 years to the extent that I’ve reported a lot of bugs & contributed to community efforts at bug fixing).

  7. Delusibeta says:

    As I said elsewhere, in the UK Football Manager is the PC game. No other game comes close.

    Off topic, but anyone who says that Wii games don’t sell can bite my ass. Four of the top ten in the multiformat charts are Wii exclusives. Halo Reach is the only other single format exclusive in the top ten.

  8. westyfield says:

    You can buy Neptune’s Pride? I thought it was free. Hmmmm.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      If you want to create your own games or make a private game you need to buy some game credits. To join a game someone else has posted is free so theoretically only one person needs to pay a few quid for a bunch of you to play it. Socialist gaming at it’s finest!

  9. Teronfel says:

    Where is Football Manager 2009?

  10. CMaster says:

    Presumably this doesn’t even count purchases through Amazon, Play etc, making it extra-extra worthless.

    • Rich says:

      Good point. I had gathered that they wouldn’t be counting downloads, as those figures aren’t public, but not including play.com, amazon, Tesco direct, The Hut etc. puts a massive whole in their data.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      It does affect numbers, but it shouldn’t affect rankings :) I mean, even if they had all data from Amazon, Steam, etc, FM2011 would still be on top.

    • Urthman says:

      Are you assuming that people who buy games through the mail or for download mostly buy the same games as people who buy games in shops? Because that seems like a pretty huge assumption.

    • Sergey Galyonkin says:

      Well, if you check Amazon.co.uk top for console games, you’ll see almost exact mirror of console top published by UKIE. So I assume that PC audience wouldn’t be that different.

    • Deano2099 says:

      And the small issue of availability. Some titles are download only but others that do get a box release might be available on Play/Amazon but not in GAME. There are still a lot of boxes coming out and shelf space is limited.

  11. Pijama says:

    I don’t get the FM hate (except if you are not a football fan, which then it is perfectly understandable) – I agree of sorts with Delusibeta: this is an EXEMPLARY PC game.

    It has the same capacity to drive a gamer mad like Dwarf Fortress (bloody hell it has more spreadsheets than THAT), it is extremely flexible, has MANY MANY ways to play it, has a gigantic community of all types of modders, procedural generation, so on and so forth.

    But more importantly, even though you might be driven fucking berserk, you can endure. So no defeat is “final” – all you get is a wounded pride ;)

    Plus it is damn addictive, hehe

    Needs more technical attention to some issues with the match engine, but other than that, I believe it is one outstanding proof of a PC game.

    • Big Murray says:

      See, I’m a football fan, and I hate FM. I’m a fan of watching football. I don’t know squat about football tactics and strategies, and the game is just put in front of you without any capacity to learn them. It’s like if you got given Dwarf Fortress without any manual … you’ll never figure the damn thing out.

      And the community for FM is, in a word, awful. I tried a few times to get into it over the years, and the reactions of most people to one who wants to learn from the ground up how to create tactics and play the game well are “oh, you should go watch some real football and then come back”. Makes you want to kick them Cantona-style in the face, really.

      I think they forget that it’s a game. And games need to give you at least some learning curve.

    • Pijama says:

      @Big Murray: I am sorry mate, but then you are *not* watching football. To make an analogy, you are simply acting like the student watching his teacher do all the math – but not learning.

      The elegance of the game is in the simplicity and how intuitive it is. For example, a 4-4-2 is exactly what it is being described: four players at the back, four at the middle and two at the front.

      I do agree, however, that if you DO NOT have any grasp of football whatsoever, FM is not the game to teach you, and I heartily do not recommend it so. What you should do instead is go to the nearest pub with some friends who know a thing or two and watch a few neutral games – both high and low level – and nag them with questions*. After a while, you will start to get it. :)

      * – this has been tested with yankees, canucks, and other non-footballing heretics with great success!

    • DiamondDog says:

      I think in its current state FM has never been easier to get to grips with. I haven’t had to use it but there is an advice button now that will help you through options and explain the various settings. The last few versions have had a tactics creator option which takes you by the hand and guides you through making a workable tactic. Sure, you won’t be winning everything in sight, but then you shouldn’t expect to.

      As for community I can’t comment on other places but FM-Base or The Dugout are where I tend to go and haven’t found them to be hostile. They are like any old community I suppose, they get a little tired of the same old questions. Jump in with a thread like “How Do I Win Everything???” and you can expect a bad response.

      You just have to get stuck in, really. Pick a team with low expectations so a run of bad form doesn’t result in you getting the sack and just mess about with it. It’s as much of a sandbox game as anything out there and as such there’s no point in tutorials and learning curves. You just learn by practice.

      The other point should probably go with out saying, FM isn’t a game for people that don’t really really like football.

    • Will Tomas says:

      Actually, if you want to learn about football, I would heartily agree with Kieron and suggest playing Sensible World of Soccer on some form of emulator. It’s perfect for getting how football works. Then try playing FIFA/PES (against the computer… people who know how to play tend not to have the patience to teach). In my case playing a few seasons in PES made me decide to try FM and since I came to it knowing something about football it really stuck. It is a momumentally good game if you know what to do with it.

  12. Big Murray says:

    Would’ve thought Black Ops (ugh) would’ve been up there somewhere … guess that’s more one for those console people.

  13. Meat Circus says:

    NO CODBLOPS = MASSIVE PC GAMER SUCCEED

  14. Moth Bones says:

    CM/FM was the only computer game I played for years, and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s an absolute phenomenon, and a PC one at that. FM2010 is one of the best iterations too. But having played for so long I find it very difficult to imagine what it would be like for a newcomer. It differs from most games in that performing exactly the same action in the same circumstances will not necessarily produce the same result – but this is surely true of other strategy games with random elements too.

  15. Ergates_Antius says:

    I can’t remember the last time I bought a PC game from a bricks and mortar shop.

    These days it’s all Steam (or equivalent) or Amazon (or equivalent)

  16. Sergius64 says:

    FM is a brilliant game, and it’s one of those single player games that never really ends.

  17. dethtoll says:

    See, I was already to rage at RPS for judging people for buying Black Ops (sick of the CoD hate) and whatnot, you know, the shit it’s cool to hate.

    Then I saw what was actually the top sellers.

    And I wept.

  18. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    John. I love you (and Nick), but one of your blindspots is football – possibly because of its oikish tendencies. There’s a lot surrounding football which is dumb, thuggish and unappealing, but the game itself is BEAUTIFUL, and Football Manager 2011 is a fantastic game – yes, a game not spreadsheet. Or at least it’s a delicate story-weaving user-tweakable spreadsheet buildling narratives that span years.

    Football Manager 2011 is my game of 2010 (sic) along with Amnesia and Minecraft. It’s PC gaming through and through. So there!

  19. Carra says:

    Wake me up when Steam gives their sale records.

  20. Will Tomas says:

    This is absolutely fantastic. Real-life manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plays FM to practice.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-01-10-solskjaer-practises-on-football-manager

  21. bookwormat says:

    “Zynga, the maker of such games as “FarmVille” and “FrontierVille,” is valued at $5.51 billion, according to SharesPost Inc., an exchange for shares of privately held companies. Electronic Arts, the second-largest game publisher by sales, is worth $5.22 billion on the Nasdaq Stock Market.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-26/zynga-tops-electronic-arts-as-social-games-spread.html

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Try comparing something which actually has any relevance like profit or turnover & EA will be miles ahead of Zynga. Stock market valuations mean pretty much nothing except to investors who are easy to fool with “new” ideas/technologies. See the many digital/internet company crashes of the last 2 decades for examples.

  22. amcg says:

    Meh, Football games on the top 2? Im sure there were better games than them.
    *is not a football fan*

    • Om says:

      Fairly sure that a dislike of football has little relevance as to the quality of Champ (as its affectionately still known in my house). I don’t like MMOs but that doesn’t mean that WoW is a poor game

  23. starclaws says:

    FM 2011 is some fun stuff. The whole series has the potential to be very promising. They are actively trying to update and fix crashes, errors, and update the database. Though, even the original release version ran pretty well. They have a lot of work to do on the databases though. Trying to get them to fix a few errors myself. You can pick up a physical copy for $19.99 or a digital copy for $39.99 in most places. If you are a true ‘football’ fan then this game is worth considering. But look for this game to become a major title in the near future.

    Even comes with a very limited editor where you can add your own things to the game.

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