UK games retail could make £1.28bn in six months

UK games retailers will do battle over a possible 1.28bn over the next six months, MCV?can reveal.

That’s MCV’s calculation based on analyst predictions and GfK Chart-Track data. And includes software, hardware and accessories.

UK games stores could earn between 1.15bn and 1.28bn, driven by new IP, returning blockbusters and two new games consoles.

Yet, despite the expected sales surge, 2013 will still be a year of decline for the UK boxed games market, warns GfK Chart-Track. The stat tracker predicts a single digit drop in revenue for the year.

The first six months of 2013 have been difficult, with sales down 15 per cent to 597m.

According to leading industry analysts, boxed software sales will decline this year, although the drop will not be as severe as 2012, while accessories sales will grow. Console hardware sales should remain flat, although that will depend on the stock availability of Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Assuming both new formats arrive with stock for Q4 and a decent range of 15 to 25 titles, I would view the overall market for software, hardware and gaming accessories to be within a single digit decline over last year,” said GfK Chart-Track director Dorian Bloch.

Overall console hardware units could match 2012 and the gaming accessories market will certainly show growth. There will be an as yet unknown trade-off between early adopters for Xbox One and PS4 and those that stick with 360 and PS3 software.”

GAME category director Charlotte Knight added: We’re really excited about the second half of 2013.

Not only do we have great current-gen titles like GTA V, Gran Turismo 6 and Beyond, we’re also going to see incredible new IPs like Watch Dogs, Ryse and Drive Club to name just a few – plus the latest titles in fan-favourite franchises with Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, FIFA 14 and Assassin’s Creed IV.

That’s on top of the launch of two incredible new platforms which will usher in a new generation of gaming. This is a really exciting time for the industry and promises to be an incredible six months for the UK gaming community.”

Other titles to watch include Skylanders and Disney Infinity. According to GfK Chart-Track, Skylanders generated 100m in the first three months of the year. The company also predicts strong sales from Grand Theft Auto V. The last game in the series – 2008’s GTA IV – sold almost 1m units a week (only Call of Duty and FIFA have done better). And at the time, almost one third of the entire PS3 and 360 installed base bought a copy in its first week.

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