The latest report from Entertainment Retailers Association shows that in 2018, games accounted for more than half of the entire UK entertainment market. This also means that the games market is bigger from video and music sector combined.
The video games industry has reached another milestone in 2018 and now makes up for more than half of the entire entertainment market in the UK. Standing at 51.3 per cent, the gaming sector is bigger than the music and video market combined.
ERA's reports suggest that more than any other sector, games have benefitted from "a proliferation of new services from direct to console downloads to mobile and social gaming".
The physical console sales and PC games markets were down 2.8 per cent in 2018, as digital download increased 12.5 per cent, which means that 80 per cent of UK games sales are now in digital format. UK's video game market generated £3.86 billion in 2018 of which £3.09 billion was from digital sales while physical format sales earned £770 million.
Thanks to the digital sales, the games market is now more than double in value since 2007. ERA CEO Kim Bayley said that the gaming industry took advantage of the digital age and overtook the bigger sectors despite being the youngest on the market.
“The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment. Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest,” Bayley said.
Even though the majority of revenue comes from digital sales, ERA analysis shows physical disc sales are still crucial to delivering the biggest numbers. UK's best selling console game of 2018 is FIFA 19 which sold more than 2.5m units, around 75 per cent on physical formats. Also, titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 also did well at retail.
The shift from physical to digital formats has been unavoidable but it's still interesting to see some games selling a lot more retail copies than digital ones. FIFA's physical sale numbers have been dropping over the years but they still look pretty strong which suggests that for certain games, good old discs are still the way to go.