GAMES RETAIL ANALYSIS: The only way is up?

It will come as a surprise to absolutely no-one that the UK games retail market has suffered one of its worst six months in history.

Sales of video games reached 13.7m for the first half of the year, that’s almost 7m fewer games than compared with this point in 2011. The likes of Tesco, GAME, HMV and Amazon made 321.5m from software sales so far in 2012, which is 33 per cent down compared with the 480.1m made during the same period last year.

Game sales on every platform have suffered double-digit declines, with the exception of Nintendo 3DS, which was only on sale for part of H1 2011.

The market has struggled in the face of the economic recession, reduced family spending, fewer original titles and the collapse and closure of hundreds of games stores. To rub salt into the wounds, consumers are increasingly turning their back on boxed games in favour of mobile, social and digital download titles.

But on a note of optimism, the UK trade has worked tirelessly to prevent games retail from collapsing entirely. One industry bigwig told MCV that this year he has never seen the industry work harder and closer together”.

Top industry analysts predict the traditional retail games market will grow again next year, with the prospect of a new Xboxand PlayStation.

And that growth could even begin as early as this Christmas, thanks to a combination of new titles based on top gaming brands and the arrival of Nintendo’s new home console, Wii U.

It’s certainly been a six-month period to forget for many of us. But there’s still hope that that the market decline won’t be nearly as severe come Christmas.

All data is courtesy of GfK Chart-Track and UKIE

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