An interesting turn of events has occurred with the UK release of Horizon Forbidden West. The physical edition of the PS5 version outsold the PS4 version. Now, this could normally be considered a water-is-wet type of thing, except that the PS4 physical edition was £10.00/$10.00 cheaper and included a free code for the PS5 upgrade. This mirrored the pricing tiers for the digital standard editions seen on the PlayStation store. Each version is also said to have the exact same content.
A report by GamesIndustry.biz shows that the PS5 edition accounted for 68% of all boxed version sales in the UK. This meant that only 32% of sales were for the older console. It’s possible that buyers were confused by a previous controversial announcement from Sony for the release of the next installment on each console.
Sony had originally announced in September that the PS4 version would not include a digital download code for the PS5 version. However, two days later, following backlash from the community, the company backtracked on that announcement.
Overall Sales Seem to Be Down from Previous Launch
Ironically enough, despite being the second-highest PS5 game launch in the UK so far, the lack of availability for the console may have dealt another blow for the launch of the new game. The report also states that sales are down 35% from the previous 2017 launch of Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s possible that if Sony had not made its original announcement, more copies could’ve been sold to PS4 owners who, instead, may have decided to hold out longer until they are able to purchase a PS5 console.
The report also notes that sales figures for digital versions of the game have not been included. Those missing sales numbers could paint a decidedly different picture regarding the total units sold for the new release. Recently there was another report that examined how sales of physical editions from 2018–2021 have been in a steady decline. This too could be a contributing factor for the difference in sales compared to those of the original game. In the end, the perceived decline in sales could be nothing more than a symptomatic trend of the times, once all sales have been accounted for.