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Why Uncharted 4's 78% sales drop isn't as troubling as it sounds - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End for PS4 News

Physical sales of Uncharted 4 may have fallen by 78% in the UK last week, but that isn't as worrying as it might sound. In fact, it's actually pretty normal.

According to the UK's sales-tracking company GFK Chart-Track, sales of major releases typically drop by around 70% during their second week, with some games actually dropping by significantly more. Sales of Dark Souls 3, for example, which was the UK's top-selling game in April, actually fell by 80% during its second week. Fallout 4, a game which continues to place within the top 20 six months after release, also dropped by 80% in week two.

The massive drops aren't too surprising when you consider the day one culture of the video games industry. Publishers regularly place a significant emphasis on pre-orders which, when successful, can result in major first week sales that don't come close to being matched the week after.

GTA 5, for example, sold an incredible 11.2m units in its first 24 hours, but dropped by 83% during its week two. The drop doesn't necessarily mean it won't continue to sell, either: GTA V continues to place in the UK's top 10 even today, almost three years after its release.

And then there are games like DOOM and Assassin's Creed Syndicate which, following some concern in the run up to release, picked up positive word of mouth in the days after, resulting in a much lower, more stable sales drop during week two. Other games with more mainstream appeal, (or a movie to help sales ticking over) also benefit from shallower drops. Star Wars Battlefront, for example, which released amidst the hype for The Force Awakens, dropped by just 52% during its second week.

Here's how physical UK sales of other major games have dropped during their second week on sale:

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End launched on PS4 on May 10. The game has already sold 2.7m units, becoming the fastest-selling first-party game on PS4.

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