THEY are the games that take players on shooting sprees, brutally assassinate virtual targets and mow down hordes of zombies.

Just a day after thousands of people across the UK got their hands on the long-awaited latest game Call of Duty: Ghosts, a new survey has found that people in Southampton are among the most likely to play violent video games.

The research, carried out by independent shopping price comparison engine, examined the Internet shopping habits of gamers in more than 40 towns and cities across the country.

It showed that shoppers in Southampton bought the fifth highest number of violent video games in the UK.

All the games considered violent had an age rating of 16 or 18 and included warnings on packaging such as “extreme violence”, “multiple, motiveless killing” or “strong language”.

Coming out on top of the survey was Birmingham, followed by Newcastle, London and Leicester.

The study comes just a month and a half after the release of Grand Theft Auto V, which has had sold more than three million copies in the UK, and featured a controversial torture scene, violent bank robberies and numerous murders.

Erik Lorentz, head of communications at, said: “From Southampton to Stockport – we were curious to see which areas snap-up the most violent video games.

“It will be interesting to see if new releases like Call of Duty: Ghosts will top the charts in the run up to Christmas.”

Erik added: “Although our research indicates Southampton is one of the key places where the most video games are purchased in the UK, this doesn’t support or contradict the link between these types of games and recorded crime.

"In the last 12 months we’ve seen the release of Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty Ghosts which are two very high profile games with violent content. Their universal popularity, particularly in the run-up to be Christmas, may be one factor as to why Southampton has featured within the Top 10.”