UK physical games market down 50% year-on-year

Alex Calvin
UK physical games market down 50% year-on-year

Last week, the UK boxed games market was down by more than 50 per cent year-on-year.

According to GfK figures, the sales period for the week ending Saturday, November 12th 2016 saw 651,637 games sold, a 52 per cent dip when compared with the week ending Saturday, November 14th 2015. 25m was generated in revenue during the week – a 54 per cent drop on the 2015 figure.

Year-to-date, the UK boxed games market for 2016 is down by 14.6 per cent in terms of units, compared with 2015, while revenue has taken a dip of 13.1 per cent.

Retail sources speaking to MCV say that this is partially down to 2016's arguably weaker line-up of software. Fallout 4 hit shelves in the second week of November 2015, with Star Wars Battlefront launching the following week. Furthermore, the dip in Call of Duty unit sales year-on-year is said to be another factor.

Looking at the 2014 figures,they are roughly inline with 2015 for units and revenue, so a bumper week last year isn't solely to blame.

The head buyer at one retailer said: It has been a tough year for software – this is mostly down to the strength of the release slate this year, versus last year's. We do not have access to digital sales but I imagine some of the lost volume may be switched into digital sales.”

Another anonymous retail source said that the lack of PSVR hardware is also impacting the market.

If PSVR was in stock it would drive both hardware and software sales,” they said. The same is true with the 2DS, which ahead of Pokmon is in very tight stock.”

Another source has said that the lack of PS3 and Xbox 360 games is continuing to have a negative impact on the market.

This year there are no legacy titles to take up any slack, so the market is focused on PS4/Xbox One,” they said.

Some of this is slack, however, is being picked up by the PS4 and Xbox One. Comparing these formats year-to-date, PS4 software sales are nine per cent up year-on-year, while Xbox One game sales have risen one per cent.

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