INTERACTIVE UK GAMES SALES SMASHING RECORDS

Friday 6th July/...Video and computer games are more popular than ever according to the latest industry figures from ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) and Charttack, the company that tracks games sales in the UK.

While sales for the first six months of 2007 are up on all games formats to a staggering£519 million, an increase of over 17 per cent 2006’s half-year figures, the industry has sounded a note of caution. The UK has slipped back in the world rankings of games producers in the face of increased pressure from Canada, which provides massive incentives and tax breaks to games companies to produce their games within its borders. New Asian economies such as China are also becoming increasingly attractive to the world’s game superpowers.

The first half of 2007 has been an unprecedented one for the games software market, with unit sales growth standing at a whopping 19 per cent above the same period in the previous year, making the total games units sold over 26.01 million.

Paul Jackson, Director General of ELSPA, said: "We are thrilled to see the industry thriving and not only growing but soaring. With so many excellent titles now available for all ages, appealing to a wide audience the industry is stronger than ever. The speed of the growth of the games industry is testament to the creativity, technology and diversity which is employed by the modern games business.

“The UK plays a huge part in the development of games that sell in the millions around the world. We are a huge part of UK PLC’s Creative Economy, but it is important to note that the future of this buoyant economy is uncertain as tax incentives and cost contributions of up to 38 per cent in other territories around the world are prompting a brain drain and an impact on IP ownership and Balance of Payments contribution.

“The UK has spent years building up a significant skills and technology base, but the short and long term outlook as it stands is not good. We once again encourage Government to look at the issues raised by the respected economist Will Hutton in his recent report into UK Creative Industries.”

On the popularity of games, he added:“With the new generation consoles and new handhelds there are some amazing titles out there and consumers are continuing to enjoy them. There are new and exciting games available and more and more family orientated and mentally stimulating titles to grasp and hold the interest of all ages.”

With popularity of the handhelds on the market, the Nintendo DS Lite has dominated in the first half of 2007 making up a remarkable 72% of handhelds sold, notching up record-breaking unit sell through.

The next generation consoles have also offered some staggering sale results, with Nintendo again toping the unit sales poll with the Wii.

Hardware sales for early 2007 together have seen an staggering increase of 51% on units sold on last year’s half-year figures, notching up revenues of£405 million, an 87% increase on the previous year.

The total increase on software, hardware and accessories enjoyed a 42% increase on revenue topping out at an astounding£1,022 million.

Video and computer games are enjoyed by people of all ages from three upwards. Each game has an age rating, with over 70 per cent of games being suitable for all ages. Information about games age ratings can be found at www.askaboutgames.com

For full statistics for this period please visit  http://www.elspa.com/assets/files/t/tablefigureswks1262006and2007_374.xls

EDITORS NOTES:

About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com

ELSPA (The Entertainment&Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

For further information, please contact:

Laura West

BARRINGTON HARVEY

T: 01462 456780

F: 01462 456781

E: laura.west@bhpr.co.uk


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