Videogames Are Now More Popular Than Ever

Wednesday 7th January, London, UK/... Sales of videogames hit an all-time high in 2008, according to ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) which today revealed annual sales figures from GFK Chart-Track. Total sales of all videogame software and hardware amounted to£4.034 billion. There was a huge increase in games sales in 2008, with growth of 23 percent on figures for 2007. The market has now more than doubled over the last five years. The increasing popularity of videogames took total sales to£1.905 billion, compared to£1.552 billion in 2007. Hardware sales have been equally spectacular.

Nintendo formats led the way, with software sales of nearly 40 million units in the UK. Nintendo Wii® games were up 153 per cent, with 20.1 million units sold last year compared to 7.9 million units in 2007. Revenue from Nintendo Wii® software sales also enjoyed a dramatic increase of 112 per cent to£481 million, compared to£227 million in 2007.

The Nintendo DS® came through as the star hand-held performer, notching up a record-breaking 19.1 million software sales in the country, compared to 14.9 million in 2007. The leap represents an increase of 28 per cent year on year. Revenue from Nintendo DS® videogames sales increased by 17 per cent - from£314 million in 2007 to£366 in 2008.

Sony’s PlayStation 3® console notched up its first full year of videogame sales in 2008. Sales rose 145 per cent, with 10.4 million units sold– more than double the 4.2 million games sold in 2007. The PlayStation 3® saw a 115 per cent rise in revenue and software sales reached£334 million in 2008 compared to£156 million in 2007.

Microsoft Xbox 360® also continued to see growth in sales with a rise of 51 per cent of videogames sold– a total 14.9 million units sold in the UK last year, compared to 9.8 million in 2007. Revenue was also up by 38 per cent, with£443 million in 2008 compared to£320 million in 2007.

The total revenue for the UK’s console hardware sales in 2008 was£1.422 billion - an increase of 14 per cent compared to£1.252 billion in 2007. The total value of console gaming peripherals increased by 82 per cent, with total sales reaching£549 million compared to£301 million in 2007.

Michael Rawlinson, Managing Director of ELSPA, said:“It is also encouraging to see that the popularity of videogames continues to grow year on year. More than ever, videogaming is increasingly bringing families together with the introduction of so many outstanding family-based console titles. These have really opened up the market to those who may never have even considered playing a videogame before.”

Total videogames software sales reached an all-time high in 2008 with 82.8 million units sold all-told in the UK. The total gross generated from the sale of all videogames including hardware and accessories rose 23 per cent to£4.034 billion.

Ends.

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.

About GfK Chart-Track– http://www.chart-track.com

Chart-Track was formed in 1996 to monitor sales of music, videos and software through retail in the UK and Ireland. Since then they have established an unparalleled reputation for fast and accurate retail research in the home entertainment market. Part of the GfK Group since July 2008, operations now encompass the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Europe.

About askaboutgames.com:

askaboutgames.com is an easy to use guide to age ratings for computer and video games. Every game sold in the UK has a rating clearly displayed on the packaging - askaboutgames.com presents detailed explanations of these game ratings and symbols, why ratings are important and how they work. For family and friends, it is the complete guide to all you need to know to make informed choices. To find out more visit www.askaboutgames.com.

For further information, please contact:

Gary Burns or Sarah Hartland

BARRINGTON HARVEY

T: 01462 456780

F: 01462 456781

E: gary.burns@bhpr.co.uk/sarah.hartland@bhpr.co.uk


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.