New Year, new start despite 2012 washout

The UK games industry is hoping for a brighter 2013 after last year’s software sales fell by almost 400m.

39.5m physical games were sold over the last 12 months, 15m fewer than in 2011. This generated 1bn, a drop of 26.4 per cent year-on-year.

According to IHS?Screen Digest, UK?digital game sales did increase by 7.7 per cent to 552m. But this doesn’t fill the gap created by the fall in boxed sales.

Top retail bosses are now looking ahead to the next 12 months, with hopes that the likes of GTA V plus new hardware will turn the declining market around.

GTA?V’s been a long time coming and the excitement’s ramped up all of a sudden,” said Game Retail’s store director Dave Howard. ”It’s going to be massive. And it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with hardware.”

Asda’s games boss Craig Thirkell added: We’re really excited about GTA V – it’s a real opportunity to get the shops behind a big launch and of course nothing will be quite as good as hearing about any new consoles from both Microsoft and Sony – a new home console would be a real buzz.”

HMV’s games boss Andy Pinder added: Q1 is looking strong with some key franchises returning.”

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