Video game revenues saw record increases last year, with digital purchases now accounting for 50% of all sales in the UK.
Despite all the stories about personal data being lost and sold at an alarming rate, every year there’s somehow less and less information released about the video games market.
It’s now almost impossible to tell how well a game is doing simply by looking at the physical sales chart, which is still the only one released for the UK.
But the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) has released a yearly report that offers some rare insight – and shows that everything is actually going pretty well.
The total UK consumer spend last year increased by 10% to £5.7 billion, including everything from mobile games to console hardware sales. At the same time software sales rose 10.3% and broke the £4 billion barrier for the first time – at £4.01 billion.
Games console sales were up 6.5% to £702 million, PC games hardware was up 18.4% to £445 million, and even peripherals and accessories were up 19.9% to £355 million.
Mobile game sales rose by 8.2% to £1.17 billion, while it was revealed that digital and online now accounts for 50% of all UK software revenues.
That’s not as clear cut as it sounds though as it includes full game downloads, DLC, and microtransactions across all formats, including mobile – so until Chart-Track start providing combined physical and digital sales data we’re still not going to have a clear idea how well individual games are doing.
One of the few areas to see a decrease in sales from 2017 was VR, which was down 20.9% to £72 million. At the same time the second-hand market all but imploded, down 30.8% in just a year to £67.9 million.
That’s clearly because of the rise of digital, especially games as a service titles, and the increasing focus on subscription services. Not to mention the fact that there are now far less places to actually trade in games on the high street.
You can read the full report in detail here but while the overall trends are not surprising it’s good to know that the overall market for games in the UK has never been in better health.