Asda's PS3 chart - just a flimsy tissue of dirty lies

23 November 2009

Back when we were young pop fans, the singles chart was sacrosanct. It was also top secret, revealed to us one song at a time every Sunday evening. Or if you’re of a certain age, every Tuesday lunchtime on the Paul Burnett show, followed by its full publication in the Daily Mirror on a Wednesday morning, which allowed us to study its nuances more closely. So anyway, the sense of drama was palpable.

As we were saying before we got all misty-eyed and nostalgiac, the charts used to mean something. We all knew that these were the records that were the most popular across the nation at that given time according to sales figures (subject to the odd piece of chart-rigging by eager and naughty record companies.)

Do charts still mean anything in 2009? If you’re Asda, it seems not. Now this correspondent served enough time behind the counter in Our Price in the 1990s to know that instore charts don’t always reflect instore sales and that the chart positions have a tendency to be ‘massaged’ a little to allow for titles that are currently being promoted, normally at the expense of their producers and distributors.

But THIS chart is a disgrace.

asda chart

It’s Asda’s PS3 top twenty from last weekend. Let’s have a look for Assassin’s Creed II and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – the two games that you’d expect to see nestling at the top of the official sales chart. They’re all the way down at… numbers 11 and 12. Oh.

So what could possibly be outselling these must-have games in Asda right now? It’s a bunch of older, slightly mustier games that Asda are currently selling at a reduced ‘Roll Back’ price. Do we really believe that each and every one of these games is outgunning Assassin’s Creed II and Modern Warfare 2 in the sales stakes? No, dear readers, we do not.

Asda, you have brought the charts into disrepute. If someone had asked Paul Burnett to broadcast a chart rundown like that back in the late 1970s, he probably would have placed a pistol into his mouth and blown the top of his own head off. Apart from that Jubilee week when the Sex Pistols should have been number one with God Save The Queen. That was a big old fix and everyone knows it.

Incidentally, if you grew up with a near-anal obsession with the singles chart, back when they were still genuinely exciting, you’ll probably enjoy wasting a few days at Chart Stats. No need to thank us because we know how you feel.

Screen shot 2009-11-23 at 11.51.16EDIT: From Asda's own website, here is a link to their PS3 chart, as well as a link to their best-selling games. Hang on - what is a chart supposed to be if it isn't a list of the best-selling games? FFS.

Fortunately, you can arrange the 'chart' in best-selling order. That way you get to look at what the 'chart' should really look like. Thanks Asda! Thasda!

(Thanks to HUKD member hncb0809 for the tip-off)

TOPICS:   Games

16 comments

  • raj
    they don't want to sell COD MW2 at £25 so they made up this chart! Bastards
  • No m.
    It's a good job you can clearly see the labels beneath the all the games, or we'd just think that the placing of boxes on the shelves had fuck all to do with what it says under them, and that they'd simply been moved! Thanks for a clear, concise and obviously well investigated and unbiased article.
  • callum
    Finally an article I agree with! However, I just thought I'd point out the difference between best selling and chart games. Chart games are the games that are selling the most copies that week. Best selling games are usually the games that have sold the most in their lifetime. If you think about it, there obviously needs to be two different categories, otherwise games like COD4 and MW2 would be in the chart for life.
  • Andy D.
    @Callum. Does that mean that Take That Singstar has sold more copies in its lifespan than FIFA 09? Because that's what the Asda site suggests if so.
  • Andy D.
    Basically, we all know that instore charts don't reflect sales - I've said that in the piece and have previous first-hand experience from working in retail. But there's massaging the chart positions and there's taking the piss...
  • Adam2050
    Dear me cheaper games overall and your whinning because to big titles only realised arn't in them.
  • Lee
    Those charts are just Asdas 'predictions'. Woolies used to do the same thing with it's single and album charts which were mostly very very wrong. Does it really matter?
  • Rob B.
    Assassins Creed II is actually #10 on the website but still isn't £25 online, the web advert says 'Top 10 PS3 games FROM £25', the instore/TV adverts say 'FOR £25' but the chart is differnet instore (ie AC II is #11) They can't even get that right, muppets..
  • Botafogo75
    Raj is right! They are advetising the top ten PS3 games for £25 each so obviously normal people would think Modern Warfare 2, Assassin's Creed 2 and Uncharted 2 would be in the top ten. Then they make up this chart so they don't have to sell them at this price! Notice how MW2 and Assassin's Creed 2 are just outside the top ten at 11 and 12. Shocking.
  • Pablo
    The whole video game industry likes to use dodgy numbers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyeemtS1jII
  • Tony
    Working in the games industry for donkeys years my view two things are going on here - none of which represent actual sales volumes of any sort. Firstly that retailers offer Games publishers "Merchandising Positions' that is you pay an agreed fee and the retailer will position your game in favorable positions within store and on shelves, different prices are charged dependent on 'exposure level' meaning Top shelves are more expensive than Lower ones - as are windows etc. Secondly, that the retailer is offering a promotion such as 'Top 10 PS3 games for £25', therefore they have to massage their chart positions so the games they don't want to sell at the discounted price sit just outside the chart - hence the position of this years two top selling games at 11 and 12,
  • Simon
    And they probably have loads of copies of PES left or something that they can't sell - so are hoping to get shot of them by chucking them at the top of the charts. Its a shop, it's how retail works.
  • dunfyboy
    I spotted this a couple of weeks ago when they made a big deal of their top ten games only being £25 while MW2 was at number 11.
  • Repair 3.
    Nice post. I hope you keep on writing such interesting articles
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  • ps3 r.
    seems like Asda has read your post, they did just waht you said

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