February and March have been absolutely packed with new video game releases this year, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn already standing as early game of the year contenders, but neither game had a launch as large as Ghost Recon Wildlands. The latest Ghost Recon game had the biggest week-one sales of any game in the U.K. this year, and it’s among the best starts for any game to bear the “Tom Clancy” brand name.
Ghost Recon Wildlands, which released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on March 7, was able to displace the PlayStation 4-exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn. The latter game beat out the Wii U and Switch’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, though Nintendo stated that it’s still the best launch for any game in the series.
The only Tom Clancy game with a launch bigger than Ghost Recon Wildlands was last year’s massively successful The Division. That game managed to set sales records for Ubisoft, with a bigger launch than Watch Dogs, and it continued to improve over the year with additional content packs, changes to player-versus-player areas, and free updates.
Previously, the biggest launch for a Ghost Recon game was 2012’s Future Soldier. The tech-heavy third-person shooter sold better than publisher Ubisoft had expected, but its critical reception didn’t stack up to the older Advanced Warfighter games. Wildlands follows suit, with its open world often getting in the way of the action instead of enhancing it, and a story that often seems scatterbrained and inconsistent in tone.
We’ll see how long Wildlands is able to hold the sales title, and if the U.K. sales will be indicative of its worldwide performance. It has been almost four years since the launch of Splinter Cell Blacklist, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Ubisoft announce a follow-up at this year’s E3 presentation.
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