Byte vs Brick: Week Ending Nov 4

Every single damn week, I can’t remember if it’s called ‘Byte vs Brick’ or ‘Brick vs Byte.’ My failing memory terrifies me. Though my girlfriend is vaguely appreciative of it, as it allows her to tell me the same anecdotes repeatedly with me having no clue I’ve heard them before. At least, she claims she’s my girlfriend; I can’t rightly recall if that’s the case or not. There’s just this person in my house who tells me to do the washing up and feed the cat, and it seems to prudent to play along and hope my memory kicks in at some point. And why are all these words tattooed on my torso?

Anyway: Brick vs Byte, our weekly, unscientific look at how the top 10 best-selling games on Steam compare to the top 10 at UK retail. What mysteries will be revealed? Will Battlefield 3 still be king of the hill? And who the hell are you people? What’s going on? Where are my trousers?

Week ending November 4, 2011

STEAM (including pre-orders):

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
3. Football Manager 2012
4. Bastion
5. Dungeon Defenders
6. Left 4 Dead 2
7. The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
8. Dead Island
9. Batman: Arkham City
10. Payday: The Heist

Go go Bastion! That’s a chart clearly defined by pre-orders and discount though, which increasingly seems to the Steam story these days.

UK retail/etail (not including pre-orders):

1. Football Manager 2012
2. Battlefield 3
3. The Sims 3: Pets
4. The Sims 3
5. The Sims 3: Generations
6. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
7. The Sims 3: Late Night
8. The Sims: Medieval
9. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
10. Rage

Let the records show it to be true: success is not about fancy graphics. The visually low-tech Manager of Feet 2012 has knocked BF3 off its one-week perch, but EA nonetheless retains its Sims-based stranglehold on most of the rest of the chart. Nice to see DXHR still hanging around there, and the unfairly maligned Rage too.


  1. roryok says:

    The only reason the Sims sell so well in retail stores is that the Sims are pretty much the only PC game sold in most mainstream retail stores, like Tesco. Go into any HMV and you’ll likely see a small shelf of Sims games and WOW boxes. and NOTHING else.

    • Prime says:

      That’s the very experience I had just last week! A giant row of Sims 3 boxes with Warcraft stuck on the end! And most shockingly, each of the expansion packs, of which there were SO many, were being sold for £30 each!

      Naturally, I harrumphed my disgust at the young ruffian behind the counter and left the shop immediately!

      (Nb: actually not sarcasm for once)

    • bascule42 says:

      Spot on. There are only 2 stores in this area that stock PC titles – and this is just lip service. It’s been around 3 years since I actually went into town to buy a game. Oh yeah…I see.

    • Cheese says:

      I did see about 4 copies of RO2 the other day.

  2. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Timely Memento reference—I just watched that again last night.

  3. Syra says:

    Hey I bought bastion this week too, midweek madness on a great game at the sweetspot price wise no doubt it was going to sell.

    Skyrim is really running away with it though, topping preorders for 3 weeks or so now? Next week it will clock the all formats retail too without a doubt.

  4. Blackberries says:

    Bastion was flipping brilliant. I’d prevaricated before with its being over £10 and my having plenty else to play for the time being, but I ceased hesitating when I saw it discounted. Already completed it. One of my favourite experiences of the year.

    I can’t understand people pre-ordering games on Steam. It’s so expensive! I’m getting Skyrim for £6 less from Amazon and get a nifty cloth map to boot. MW3’s £40 is just absurd.

    • jezcentral says:

      I haven’t bought either Skyrim or MW3, but I need to order by Steam to get the games past the missus, otherwise she’d know how much I spend on games.

    • Syra says:

      the cloth maps are a lie, they are just paper made to look like cloth. I too preordered it from amazon (a long while back), saving around 9 pounds I think.

  5. Meat Circus says:

    The resultant wave of anguish and angry internet manrage when the pre-orderers of Skyrim realize they’ve been duped (again!) by Bethesda into pre-ordering Oblivion 2 will be a beauteous thing.

    • Unaco says:

      It’s a shame most of us are going to miss it… so engrossed in Skyrim shall we be. Make sure and take notes, and pictures. Collect it all together in an essay or a report or a blog post even, so we can all ignore it, and go back to playing Skyrim.

    • Magnetude says:

      I’m expecting nothing more than Oblivion But With Some Of The Shit Bits Fixed. And that is all I need.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I’m just waiting for another mod platform from Bethesda.

    • AndrewC says:

      Can’t wait for Oblivion 2!

    • Prime says:

      Hah! I still have hope – insane, glorious hope – that Skyrim is going to be the game we’ve wanted from Bethesda since Morrowind. and when it happens I’m going to come back and throw big pies of ‘told you so’ in your meaty face, before running back to engross myself in it again. :)

    • Meat Circus says:


      As a man who loved Morrowind to shitty bits, I hope you’re right. I WANT TO BELIEVE.

    • Prime says:

      Hold me, Meat Circus. We’ll face this together.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Haven’t bought a Bethesda game since the travesty of Oblivion.

      One can always hope that they’ve actually figured out how to do it a little better there. But I am certainly not going to plonk down full price, day one moolah for Skyrim; nor will I be very enthused until the mod scene adds the cool bits, and fixes the inevitable, unaddressed, bugs.

  6. Milky1985 says:

    “the unfairly maligned Rage too”

    Nothing unfair about it. It was a game full of bad design decisions (enemies taking silyl ammounts of headshots to die, but a wingstick is a one hit ko), technically was a mess at launch due partly to drivers but also due to more silly decisions and is quite frankly lacking in the story department (as it hints at one but decides to skirt around the subject of having an actual bad guy).

    Quite fair it was beaten down in my opinion anyway

    • Teddy Leach says:

      It doesn’t help that iD was touting it as having an excellent narrative and were proclaiming it as different to other FPSeseses.

    • sneetch says:

      Particularly as by some of the accounts I’ve read the game basically comprised of another standard corridors-leading-past-various-monster-closets FPS.

      I get that not everyone will find it that way, we’re all individuals, unique and beautiful like snowflakes and I’ve really enjoyed the pacing and moods of other maligned shooters (Medal of Honour, for example)but I don’t see how this (flawed, buggy nightmare of a release) was so great and other games were so terrible when they basically had the same flaws.

      Actually I do, it’s all personal opinion, of course, I’ll get it in the sales.

  7. fauxC says:

    I’m part of the Bastion Steam sale surge! Hurrah! Also, after buying it half-price I bought a hard copy of the soundtrack, so did they make more money from me over-all, or less? WHO KNOWS? It’s a crazy mixed up world.

    Also, it’s turned out to be my GOTY so far, which I wasn’t expecting.

  8. hjarg says:

    So, Steam week-end doesn’t mean super-sales per default?
    This was Tropico week-end after all…

    • Devrey says:

      “Week ending November 4, 2011”

      The weekend started at 5.