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UK retro sales charts discussion/feedback thread

sir_crocodile

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This is a thread for discussing the retro chart data I'm collating. If you have any feedback - things I'm doing right/wrong, errors, suggestions etc, please let me know here. There will certainly be errors as I'm transcribing everything and the sources themselves make plenty of errors - if I pick up on them I fix them, but I'm sure some will fall through the cracks.

1982 charts
1983 charts

1990 charts
 
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You may notice Gallup data from different magazines has different data for the same platform - I believe this is because:
a) I suspect Gallup is probably giving them weekly data rather than monthly. You can compare data in the magazine "Your Sinclair" coverdated March 1990 to that of CVG Feb 1990 if you are curious. Which leads into (b)...
b) For a given "month", some magazines release in that month and others release the month before (IE a mag that says "January" on the cover actually came out in December). I have mentioned the exact publication date or at least month for each magazine where that info is available.
c) Some magazines get older data than others. For instance I noticed Sonic the Comic (which is fortnightly) had data that is more than two months older than another publication.
I will not attempt to "sync" data as that way lies madness given I cannot be sure the sync is right due to my suspicion of weekly chart usage unless examples are as egregious as Sonic the Comic, where I will note it.

This older data is also potentially not as reliable - some rely on one store, and even gallup potentially has issues - please read the three page article in "The Games Machine" titled "Hype Hype Hooray" in issue 5, page 21. I won't post scans of my copy here as I'm not sure on the legality of doing so.

Something else to note is that certain publications mix in non-games in their charts.

I have found charts in the following UK publications for January 1990:

The One
Electron User
CVG
Sinclair User
Your Sinclair
Commodore User
Zero
Amiga Computing (was actually just an apology for not having charts this month)

If you find others I have missed for months already posted please let me know - I will not list the others I have checked in case I missed a chart :)
 
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Quoted by: BKK
While the charts got some thanks, nobody has posted in here so I assume everyone is satisfied with the format and will continue on in that fashion (still feel free to make suggestions). I've posted February 1990's charts - I will try to at least post one month of data per week - I've not got much free time and it's quite time consuming to collate going through all the magazines, fixing the errors, and trying to find out what some of the games actually are (CVG are a particular culprit for shortening game & publisher names in silly ways lol).

I have found charts in the following UK publications for February 1990:

The One
Electron User
CVG
Sinclair User
Your Sinclair
Zero
Amiga Computing
Commodore User had it in its contents page, but the page in question was a batman ad :D. No CU chart for this month.

Please let me know if you know of a UK sales chart for this month I've missed.
 
Appreciate it. No rush, just do what you can in however time you want to. Don't want you to feel burnt out or have to do it in the time frame you have.
 
Thanks both. I'm shooting for once a week as if I don't make it a routine I'll probably stop doing it way before any burnout anyway. :D

March 1990 has now been posted. I have found charts in the following UK publications for March 1990:

Amiga Computing
The One
Electron User
CVG
Zero
Sinclair User
Your Sinclair
CU Amiga (fomerly Commodore User, no longer tracks C64)
Amstrad Computer User

Please let me know if you know of a UK sales chart for this month I've missed.

I have also gone back and fixed stuff for January/February. Most notably worked out which indy games were the action game and which were the point & click.

Also sorted out which were which for the THREE Batman games which were constantly charting at this time, *all* published by Ocean, and two of which were old but were pulled back into the charts by the 89 movie Batmania which I'm sure everyone old enough remembers well, and two of which are officially just called "Batman":

Batman 3D (officially just "Batman", originally released in 1986). Nicknamed by many as Batman 3D for the isometric look (see below), I use this name too for differentiation:

A826u7V.png
Hlobw4E.png


Batman : The Caped Crusader (often called Batman '88 as it was released in 1988)

Fhng2C9.png


Batman - The Movie (officially just "Batman", this is the actual game based on the 89 movie, game was released at the end of 1989)

8Yw9Xjk.png


Most charts correctly labelled Batman 3D as being from "The Hit Squad" (Ocean's budget label).

So all that indy/batman stuff should be correct now.

Also, for the first time - CONSOLE CHARTS!

7xb4XUJ.png


Interestingly, CVG look at official data from Sega/Nintendo as a negative rather than a positive, very different from today where platform owner data is considered the absolute best - I suspect there was an air of mistrust, which I can certainly understand given all the shenanigans games companies got up to back then.

Home computer games were normally £5-£10 pounds at this time, so it isn't surprising that the consoles with their ~£40 cartridge price tags were a hard sell here with the computers already well entrenched.

One thing I still need to work out is how to deal with re-entries in charts that don't track them. Can be hard to work out whether a game is coming back in full price/retailer discounted or as an official budget release as many charts don't track them differently.
 
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Rush 'N Attack seems out of place for 3rd but then I saw how late PAL regions got it and that makes more sense. But Rush 'N Attack over Castlevania definitely seems strange.

Wonder Boy III (Dragon's Trap) is a great game, glad it charted well.
 
Rush 'N Attack seems out of place for 3rd but then I saw how late PAL regions got it and that makes more sense. But Rush 'N Attack over Castlevania definitely seems strange.
Castlevania came out at the beginning of '89 and Rush 'N Attack came out in the summer.
 
April 1990 has now been posted. I have found charts in the following UK publications for April 1990:

Amiga Computing
The One
Electron User
CVG
Zero
Sinclair User
Your Sinclair
CU Amiga
Amstrad Computer User

Please let me know if you know of a UK sales chart for this month I've missed.

Most commonly misspelt publisher (by both me and the mags) : Infogrames.
 
Today I learnt that there was a game called 'Gazza's Super Soccer'.
Gazza was super popular back then. Magazines and papers started nicknaming other people "zza" informally too, I recall a couple of magazines started calling Mario "Mazza" lol
 
Gazza was super popular back then. Magazines and papers started nicknaming other people "zza" informally too, I recall a couple of magazines started calling Mario "Mazza" lol
Me and my friends have imitated that Gazza Euros 96 celebration many times.
 
May 1990 has now been posted. I have found charts in the following UK publications for April 1990:

The One
Electron User
CVG
Zero
Sinclair User
Your Sinclair
CU Amiga

Please let me know if you know of a UK sales chart for this month I've missed.

This month sees Mega Drive & PC Engine charts for the first time in CVG, but only top 5's and from one retail shop - shows how low the penetration of consoles still was in the UK given larger retailers weren't stocking and Gallup weren't even bothering to track sales.

There won't be many (if any) PC engine charts as the console was never officially launched in the UK, so software distribution was limited.

CVG and others also bemoan how many games in the charts are budget rereleases, especially on the Spectrum:

PV26DgU.png


So probably an uneasy time for publishers.

No Gallup poll from Amstrad Computer User as they accidentally reprinted an old chart. Noticed a surprising change in their chart (apart from old reliable Robocop lol), and all the "new" entries were quite old, so started checking the '89 issues and found that they used the chart from exactly one year before - May 1989. No mention in the June issue of the snafu or whether it was their fault or the chart provider.

No chart from Amiga Computing and looking ahead a few months it looks like they're done with charts.
 
Like Huey Lewis I've gone back in time lol. Well...further back in time.

Posted:

December 1982 (CVG only)
January 1983 (CVG only)
February 1983 (Personal Computer News only)
March 1983 (CVG + PCN)
April 1983 (CVG + PCN)

As usual please let me know if you know of a UK sales chart for these months I've missed.

As to why I've skipped back to 1982 from 1990...it's the issue with re entries and new entires that I discussed before. If I start from the very beginning of recorded charts, it becomes a lot easier for me to identify re-entries, which makes the chart data better. *budget* re-entries remain an issue, but normally they use a different, budget label and are thus treated as a new entry. If not, there's not much I can do unfortunately. But if you see a game return to the chart a year later...it's normally a budget rerelease.

It's a shame as 1990 is more interesting to me (and I was just getting to the console era!) but this will make things better in the long run for the computer software data.

Personal Computer News is a weekly publication that will run till 1985. They had charts that captured two weeks of data at a time (so new chart data every other issue). They give a great indication as to what computers were popular in this period.
 
Nice to see that Bonk (PC Kid) did well in the UK. Was a favorite on the good ole TurboGrafx. And Truxton (Tatsujin) doing well on the Mega Drive is nice too.
 
You may notice Gallup data from different magazines has different data for the same platform - I believe this is because:
a) I suspect Gallup is probably giving them weekly data rather than monthly. You can compare data in the magazine "Your Sinclair" coverdated March 1990 to that of CVG Feb 1990 if you are curious. Which leads into (b)...
b) For a given "month", some magazines release in that month and others release the month before (IE a mag that says "January" on the cover actually came out in December). I have mentioned the exact publication date or at least month for each magazine where that info is available.
c) Some magazines get older data than others. For instance I noticed Sonic the Comic (which is fortnightly) had data that is more than two months older than another publication.
I will not attempt to "sync" data as that way lies madness given I cannot be sure the sync is right due to my suspicion of weekly chart usage unless examples are as egregious as Sonic the Comic, where I will note it.

This older data is also potentially not as reliable - some rely on one store, and even gallup potentially has issues - please read the three page article in "The Games Machine" titled "Hype Hype Hooray" in issue 5, page 21. I won't post scans of my copy here as I'm not sure on the legality of doing so.

Something else to note is that certain publications mix in non-games in their charts.

I have found charts in the following UK publications for January 1990:

The One
Electron User
CVG
Sinclair User
Your Sinclair
Commodore User
Zero
Amiga Computing (was actually just an apology for not having charts this month)

If you find others I have missed for months already posted please let me know - I will not list the others I have checked in case I missed a chart :)
Gallup used to have 2 weekly charts, the actual weekly chart (used by non-monthly media such as Sonic the Comic, teletext, TV, newspapers etc), and the "previous 4 weeks" chart for monthly magazines. That's why the monthly magazine's charts don't match each other, they used the most recent "previous 4 weeks" chart prior to writing the article. Gallup would Fax these to each magazine every 4 weeks, depending on when they were published. When one issue of Sega Power came out only 3 weeks after the last they had to skip the chart with a note that it hadn't arrived yet. They massively revamped the charts from July 1994, including most national retailers, and increasing their coverage to ~70%, they also started tracking hardware from then. They also dropped the "previous 4 weeks" chart, which resulted in many magazines stopping printing the charts for a while. All charts after this published in monthly magazines were the weekly chart.
 
I don't know when they started the "previous 4 weeks" chart, but there are also other issues to consider. In the 80s they created All Price, Full Price, and Budget Price charts, so you have to work out which one is being used if it's not explicitly stated. They also had "Value" (based on £ sales using RRP) and "Unit" charts (based on units sold). Then there were "8-Bit" and "16-Bit" charts, and presumably "All-Bits" charts ... it changes depending on year. Then you also have "Individual Formats" (each SKU is counted separately), and "All Formats", where each SKU is combined. Multiplying all of those different combinations we get 2x3x2x3x2=72 different potential multi-format charts! Of course, not all of these combinations were used at the same time, but it makes archiving the UK charts a nightmare.
 
And let's complicate things even more, by having "Leisure Software" (Games), Home Software (Non-game Software such as Encyclopedias, Anti-Virus etc), and the more commonly used "All Software" (includes both). Or the "All Formats" (Console + Computer) chart, or the "Console" only or "Home Computer" only chart. We're now up to 72x3x3= 648 potential multi-format chart variants! This is what happens when publishers pay for the chart (via ELSPA) and all want some way to put their chart "success" in their PR.
 
This is a brilliant idea, and such a massive undertaking.

BKK, does all the info you shared mean that sir_crocodile's efforts are in vain, though? Sounds like a massive headache to cross-reference everything!
 
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