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Borderlands 3 - out in just five months?

Borderlands 3 is number one, just as you would expect

The long-awaited sequel boasts the best numbers in Gearbox history as the Game Pass effect means Gears 5 sold four times less than Gears 4.

The UK charts for last week have just been released and theres no surprises about whats number one, with GamesIndustry.biz publisher Christopher Dring tweeting that Borderlands 3 is the biggest boxed game launch of the year, even though it sold less than half of Borderlands 2s opening week seven years ago.

That sort of stat has become typical of video game launches nowadays and the lack of digital sales data in the UK has made it almost impossible to tell the difference between a massive hit and a major flop.

Borderlands 3 is definitely the former though, with the PC version having twice as many people playing it as the all-time record for the PC version of Borderlands 2.

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Thats not exactly comparing like-for-like, but with numbers increasing on the second day its clearly a success – despite reports of serious technical issues with the PC version.

Incredible day with new peak concurrency (and climbing). Best numbers in Gearbox history! No promises, but we *might* be ready for me to try a SHiFT code test with the Golden Key system tomorrow. If we do, it will probably be a time-limited key. SHiFT team are god tier right now!

— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) September 14, 2019

The picture for Gears 5, released the same week (unless you bought the Ultimate Edition), is very different with a peak concurrent player total of just 10,196 on Steam – which is pretty pathetic for a major new release.

In terms of UK physical sales Gears 5 sold just 25% of Gears Of War 4s debut from only three years ago, which sounds terrible until you factor in Xbox Game Pass.

Gears 5 has been the subscription services biggest hit so far, supplanting even Fortnite as the most played game on Xbox One.

The only problem, for people that like to know these sort of things, is that well never know how many people played or bought it overall and how that compares to other games.

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Thatll be true of most games going forward, as the charts become more and more useless, at least until someone starts to add digital data. But even that will provide an increasingly incomplete picture unless Game Pass and other subscription services are taken into account.

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For what its worth, well update this article with the charts when they come in, but one last clear bit of good news is that eFootball PES 2020 sold more than last years edition. So its not all a downward spiral even when it comes to physical sales.

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