UK charts: Skyrim takes Christmas number one

Monday, 19th December 2011 09:41 GMT By Johnny Cullen

For the first time in eight years, a title not published by either EA or Activision has become the Christmas number one, with Bethesda pinching this year’s festive chair with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The Bethesda RPG makes it a second week at the summit, while Just Dance takes second and Modern Warfare 3 is third.

The usual suspects also prop up the rest of the charts, with FIFA 12, Saints Row: The Third and Battlefield 3 all making appearances.

The last time a game outside the big top two publishers was Christmas number one, which is typically announced on the final working Monday before it, was 2002. Then, the winner of that battle was Rockstar and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

The reign of EA and Activision began in 2003 when the former took the top spot with Medal of Honor: Rising Sun.

Full top ten for the week ending December 17 is below. Last week’s data is here.

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  2. Just Dance 3
  3. Modern Warfare 3
  4. FIFA 12
  5. Saints Row: The Third
  6. Battlefield 3
  7. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
  8. Mario & Sonic at the 2012 London Olympics
  9. Need for Speed: The Run
  10. Professor Layton and the Spectre’s Call



  1. Mike

    So, for the first time, or the first time since 2003? :)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. scratchy69

    So what were the starting odds? Going by this you probably could have got 100-1 on Skyrim being number 1 –

    #2 3 years ago
  3. The_Red

    Superb news. I’m not a big Skyrim fan but it’s always nice to see something other than a crappy dance / fitness game or the same military shooter on top.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Blerk

    Always nice to see something different take the honours, although you have to wonder whether it could’ve managed it without the intense price-cutting that’s been going on for the last couple of weeks.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. AHA-Lambda

    wow well done skyrim! :O

    MW3 is still going to sell way more thought, right? =/

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Psychotext

    ” always nice to see something other than a crappy dance / fitness game or the same military shooter on top”

    Well… if you look at the individual formats you’ll see that a crappy dance game is on top, but hey, at least Skyrim came out on top for all formats. :)

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Kabby

    PC users carrying Skyrim to victory. Never forget.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. AHA-Lambda

    @7 – what? no =/

    this doesnt count stam sales and pc retail sales are a pittance of any games sales now, so just no and no.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    @8 I don’t know about that. It’s estimated to have sold around 2,8 physical copies for the PC.

    That’s definitely not a pittance by any measure.

    I think there might be a factor in Elder Scrolls games having such a big modding community. A lot of modders might go with a physical copy rather than risk Steam compatability issues, although I have no idea how good or bad Skyrim is in that regard.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. AHA-Lambda

    @9 – I’m assuming that 2.8m figure is worldwide so i can’t say how relevant it will be for the UK but for this week in question, skyrim on pc didn’t even chart on the individual format chart.

    Also all pc retail copies are steamworks so it’s steam or nothing for those modders

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DSB

    @10 Really, that would just go to show that Steam isn’t everything. Most publishers would be quite happy with 2.8 worldwide, even for a multi-platform title. The fact that PC gamers have hit the shops to that extent is pretty impressive.

    If the general theories are to be believed, that can only be an estimated 50% of the total market, and while I personally don’t think the rest of the digitals get a lot of business, I’m also not sure Steam owns 100% of the market. It certainly owns half, which then puts us at something like 10-30% less than 5.6 worldwide.

    According to the source of that chart, it is being tracked on PC same as the consoles, and it’s taking first on the 360, and second on the PS3 and PC. If Steam sales aren’t included, then it pretty much has to be number 1, since it’s beating out Football Manager 2012 by 2:1 according to the Steam user count.

    They aren’t saying anything about numbers though, so I guess it’s up to anyone to make their own conjecture.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. AHA-Lambda

    yes but i am talking purely about UK retail though and the chart even shows the absence of skyrim pc in the top 40 individual formats. Skyrim was number one this week largely on the back of 360 and ps3.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    @12 Oh right, I get what you’re saying.

    #13 3 years ago

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