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Byte vs Brick: Week Ending Sep 17

Time for another one of our in theory regular but in practice highly irregular comparisons of the last week's top ten best-selling PC games on Steam, and at UK retail. Obviously there are all manner of ways in which these are not fair or entirely meaningful comparisons, not least in that Steam's metrics can tend towards the cryptic, that Steam's includes pre-orders but UK retail (via Chart-Track) doesn't and that it's laughably hard to find many PC games on British high streets these days, but it's always fun/horrifying to get a flavour for the stark differences between what people are buying digitally and what plastic boxes their attention is caught by.


1. Dead Island
2. Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
3. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
5. Star Wars Collection
6. Sid Meier's Civilization V
7. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
8. The Elder Scrolls V: Sykyrim
9. Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers Complete Bundle
10. Mount&Blade Complete Pack

UK retail:

1. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
2. The Sims 3
3. The Sims 3: Generations
4. Football Manager 2011
5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
6. Dead Island
7. The Sims: Medieval
8. The Sims 3: Late Night
9. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
10. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution

Well, being mysteriously withdrawn from direct sale on Steam in the UK hasn't done Space Marine too much harm, eh? Placing number one at UK retail probably hasn't done the various conspiracy theories about why Space Marine was withdrawn from direct sale on Steam in the UK any harm either. VERY INTERESTING. As is DOW2 Retribution popping back in at 10 there.

Meantime, the Steam chart deftly reveals the efficacy of Steam sales - hello Star Wars and Civ V - but also, with RO2, Magic and Mount and Blade, the greater breadth of the audience compared to the Sims-dominated retail chart. Good work Dead Island though - in both charts, it's holding its own against some very big boys indeed.

It's all the people buying Football Manager 2011 I feel sorry for. Don't they know a new one's on its way already?

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Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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