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Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! (NS) - not voiced by Ryan Reynolds

Pokémon: Lets Go, Pikachu! – not number one, but top of the heap

One of the busiest weeks for new game releases has seen Pokémon: Lets Go emerge the winner in terms of sales, ahead of Spyro.

Its been a busy few days in terms of new video games, but with so many coming out at once theres inevitably been winners and losers. Although the UK charts inability to track digital sales, combined with Chart-Tracks odd way of ranking Pokémon games, makes it even more complicated than usual.

The best-selling video game of last week was Pokémon: Lets Go, Pikachu! and Lets Go, Eevee! but unlike other chart makers around the world Chart-Track regard these as separate releases, even in the all formats chart.

In America the game is the most pre-ordered Switch title ever, but in the UK sales were down 60% compared to Pokémon Sun and Moon on the 3DS. Although direct comparisons are not particularly helpful given the larger 3DS userbase and the rise of digital sales. The game itself is also a remake, rather than a mainline sequel, and to add to the complications Nintendo has had stock problems, with some shops running out and pre-orders not being fulfilled.

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The other bigger winner of the week was also a family-friendly remake of a 90s video game and given the split vote on Pokémon, it was Spyro Reignited Trilogy that hit number one in the all formats chart. Unlike stablemate Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the game was launched on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 but still 75% of sales went to Sonys format.

The third highest new entry of the week was Fallout 76, which is again difficult to compare directly to its predecessor as its an online-only spin-off and not a mainline sequel. Given its online nature its also likely to see a higher percentage of digital sales than normal, although a drop of 82.4 per cent from Fallout 4 in 2015 seems severe by any measure.

The only positive for publisher Bethesda is that because of its higher price point, compared to the two remakes, it actually generated the most revenue of any game in the UK last week.

There seems to be no silver lining for Hitman 2 though, which only scraped into the bottom of the all formats top 10. Again, its difficult to compare sales with its direct predecessor, in this case because it was released episodically, but compared to 2012s Hitman: Absolution, which has a generally poor reputation with fans of the franchise, sales are down 90%.

Hitman 2 was even beaten in the all formats chart by Fortnite: Deep Freeze Bundle, the first ever retail release of the game which saw sales split almost perfectly evenly between the three console formats.

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Overall, its been a difficult week for new releases, and the results once again call into question publishers logic over releasing so many games at the same time. The Christmas rush has been a phenomenon for decades and yet companies never seem to learn when releasing more niche titles at a time when people only have the time and money for one or two big name games.

The UK charts inability to track digital sales is also confusing the picture, and while some of these drops are so extreme they clearly have more going on than just a general migration to digital downloads it will be a relief when Chart-Track begin to incorporate digital sales next year.

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As for now, the only major release next week is Battlefield V on Tuesday, with reports suggesting that pre-orders for the title are worryingly soft (something thats likely to have been confused by the games staggered release).

There are no big name launches at the end of the week though, as its Black Friday. Which means next weeks charts will be dominated by old titles rather than new.

UK individual formats chart – 17 November

1 (-) Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PS4)
2 (-) Pokémon: Lets Go, Pikachu! (NS)
3 (1) Red Dead Redemption II (PS4)
4 (-) Pokémon: Lets Go, Eevee! (NS)
5 (-) Fallout 76 (PS4)
6 (-) Fallout 76 (XO)
7 (3) FIFA 19 (PS4)
8 (2) Red Dead Redemption II (XO)
9 (-) Spyro Reignited Trilogy (XO)
10 (6) FIFA 19 (XO)

UK all formats chart – 17 November

1 (-) Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PS4/XO)
2 (1) Red Dead Redemption II (PS4/XO)
3 (-) Fallout 76 (PS4/XO/PC)
4 (-) Pokémon: Lets Go, Pikachu! (NS)
5 (3) FIFA 19 (PS4/XO/NS/360/PS3)
6 (-) Pokémon: Lets Go, Eevee! (NS)
7 (2) Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PS4/XO/PC)
8 (-) Fortnite: Deep Freeze Bundle (PS4/XO/NS)
9 (6) Mario Kart 8 (NS)
10(-) Hitman 2 (PS4/XO)

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