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Revealed: The REAL size of the UK games market

Michael French
Revealed: The REAL size of the UK games market

The High Street may be having a tough time, but the UK games market is still incredibly healthy, MCV research shows today.

For the first time, we can reveal the true value of the UK games market, showing that consumers spent over £3bn on their hobby in 2011.

It's proof that mobile, downloads and licensed toys are picking up the slack as other parts of the market soften.

This impressive figure – £3.226bn to be precise -  includes data on online, mobile, and merchandising.

And it flies in the face of conventional wisdom which says market shrinkage hit during the last 12 months.

In fact, when you combine data from some of the most respected research agencies, as we have below, you see game brands are more powerful than ever, even if the core High Street is facing some of its most challenging trading weeks.

Add online revenues to boxed market data and it’s clear digital made up 30 per cent of a £2bn UK software market last year.
2011 was also a watershed year for spin-off toys, DVDs and soundtracks, making £70m in revenue last year.

(Infographic below, followed by full text.)




BRITAIN'S £3.266 BILLION GAMES BONANZA

£520m SPENT ON ONLINE GAMES
Xbox Live subscriptions, casual games, social gaming, download to own and streaming/on-demand games
Source: Nick Parker/IHS Screen Digest

£158m SPENT ON MOBILE GAMING
Download-to-own apps and in-game purchases
Source: Juniper Research

£60m SPENT ON TOYS & MERCHANDISE
Spin-off toys and products based on video game properties such as Sonic, Moshi Monsters and Mario
Source: NPD Group

£7.5m SPENT ON GAMES MUSIC & FILMS
Soundtracks and movie/anime spin-offs
Source: Official Charts Company and label estimates

£2.2m SPENT ON EVENT TICKETS
Price paid by attendees to get into consumer shows like Eurogamer Expo, GAMEfest, MCM Expo
Source: Industry estimates

£452m SPENT ON CONSOLE HARDWARE
Pure games machines such as 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS/DS, PSP, etc.
Source: GfK Chart-Track annual data

£646m SPENT ON PERIPHERALS & ACCESSORIES
Peripherals plus Xbox Live and PlayStation Network pre-paid cards
Source: GfK Chart-Track annual data

£1.42bn SPENT ON BOXED SOFTWARE
PC and console games sold on the High Street, at supermarkets or via online retailers
Source: GfK Chart-Track annual data

...THAT'S A MARKET WORTH AT LEAST £3.266 BILLION.
(And 30% bigger than the allegedly 'declining' UK market figures published in January)

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Tags: uk charts , games market , software sales

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Comments

6 comments

Does this include Steam, Impulse etc. ?

Jakub Janovsky

Jakub Janovsky ELITE GAMER
Feb 16th 2012 at 3:39PM

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Yep.

Michael French

Michael French MCV STAFF
Feb 17th 2012 at 12:18AM

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Kind of makes MCV's comments last week about the importance of Game Group and the high street rather redundant.

And where was the advertising campaign in Game for Kingdoms of Amalur? Practically non-existent and yet that didn't stop it grabbing the top spot in the charts.

Consumers are tuned in and switched on - bottom line: High street specialists simply aren't needed.

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown INDUSTRY
Feb 17th 2012 at 9:53AM

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Great article. I'm just curious to know how this "whole market" valuation compares to a valuation for 2010 or earlier. You can't really say that the market is not in decline, unless you have a like for like comparison of the same market sectors to put it up against.

So if it was £3.2bn in 2011, what was the total in 2010?

Simon Cowley

Simon Cowley INDUSTRY
Feb 17th 2012 at 11:16AM

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Joseph - I see what you're saying. But if GAME has - for instance - 30% market share, then shaving £773m off of £3.3bn is pretty severe. I put it to you, sir, that you just have it in for GAME a bit ;)

Simon - I'll try and find out.

Michael French

Michael French MCV STAFF
Feb 17th 2012 at 1:52PM

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I know it may seem like that, but honestly I don't have it in for Game and I certainly don't wish to see further job losses, I'm just trying to put across the counter-argument that Game, or any high street specialist, desperately need to change their current model or they WILL die out and be quickly forgotten about.

The games industry doesn't begin and end with high street retail; as shown above, the facts are there in plain sight for all to see.

Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown INDUSTRY
Feb 17th 2012 at 2:46PM

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