UK games trade body Ukie has announced that the value of the UK consumer games market reached a record £4.33bn in 2016, showing a growth of 1.2 per cent from 2015.
You can read MCV's full analysis of all the figures right here, but key headlines to take away from Ukie's annual Games Industry Market Valuation Breakfast event this morning is that overall, software sales in the UK exceeded £3bn for the first time ever, and that nearly £1bn of that figure alone has come from the UK mobile games market. VR hardware, meanwhile, which has been included for the first time in Ukie's valuation, is worth £61m. As a result, there's also been a huge rise in PC hardware sales, including top-end graphics cards, rising 64 per cent to reach £258m
This result shows positive growth for the games and interactive entertainment economy, with the strongest areas of growth coming from digital console and PC game sales (up 11.1 per cent year-on-year) and UK mobile games revenue, which is up 16.9 per cent.
UK games events have also seen a strong increase, up 20.6 per cent from 2015, which has been fuelled by the growing eSports scene and consumers more actively engaging with the industry at nationwide events and shows.
Pokemon Go and Minecraft also helped spur the growth of game-related merchandise, such as toys, books and magazines. Toys and merchandise sales increased 7.2 per cent to £66.8m, while books and magazines rose by 13 per cent to £18.4m.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said: “Our sector is constantly innovating and investing in new experiences, technologies and talent, resulting in the strong and resilient games industry shown in this £4.33bn market valuation. It has been an excellent year for the industry, including the release of first commercially available VR headsets, an exciting year for our national eSports scene, and the explosion of the UK mobile market, which is now worth nearly £1bn alone.
"These statistics will go a long way to reinforcing the message that the UK continues to be a world leading games market, remaining strong in the face of an uncertain political climate. Ukie will continue to use these stats to promote the strength of our sector nationally and worldwide to investors, the media, policy makers and more, to prove that the UK is the best place to make and sell games.
"The next year will be a big year of change, but we look forward to seeing the market remain resilient and robust and a leading creative economy in the UK.”