ONS report claims video games are key part of UK Inflation hike

Video games are a key part in the latest rise for UK inflation, according to a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures released by the ONS say that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has hiked 3.1% in the twelve month period ending in November 2017 and is the highest rise in the CPI since March 2012.

The report suggests that air fares are the biggest contributor, but also points the finger at rising prices for video games, unusual as video games as a boxed product haven’t risen too far in the last few years. A new game costs somewhere in the region of £40-£50 pounds, and has done for the last several years.

"The largest upward contribution to change in both the CPIH and CPI rates came from air fares which fell between October and November but by less than a year ago," said the report. "Rising prices for a range of recreational and cultural goods and services, most notably computer games, also had an upward effect."

It seems the rise in price between October and November, prime video game release territory, was more dramatic than in 2016. The spike is no doubt part of the stellar release schedule seen this year, but Black Friday confuses things, dropping the prices of even brand new games by £20-£30 for the annual shopathon.

As a result, the ONS’s claims are a little confusing. This could be in regards to DLC or microtransactions, but that’s not what the report has claimed.

Games have long been claimed, inside the industry, as inflation-proof, something that has led to alternate monetisation strategies as companies try to find a way to survive on a £50 product as development, marketing and production costs all increase. Any publisher that has tried to increase the price significantly has seen a significant amount of bad PR, including Paradox and EA.

Regardless, it could see consumers buy less video games anyway, as the CPI spike means they are worse off and fighting increased prices on all sides.


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