UK games market down in ’09

The official figures from GfK-ChartTrack are in – and the UK games market’s total value for 2009 was down on 2008, but the sector still managed to generate billions in revenue.

ELSPA has today revealed that official data pegs the annual sales figures for the UK games market pegs total sales of all videogames software amounted to 1.621 billion.

That’s down on 2008’s record breaking figure of 1.905bn – although the above figure itself is based on a 52 week comparison.

2009 was a 53-week year: if you include the lucrative post-Christmas sales week, the number rises to 1.732bn.

But whichever way you cut it, that means it’s the strongest year on record for games sales in the UK.

In total the games market generated 3.311 billion in 2009 thanks to the above-mentioned software sales, and 1.06 billion in hardware sales, ELSPA said.

(Hardware value is down on 2008 due to the lower prices of consoles – and lower sales figures for most consoles.)

That figure marks a total market decrease in almost 20 per cent for all hardware and software sales in 2009 compared to 2008.

ELSPA says that, despite the dip, the near-consisten sales show the strength of the industry.

In an official statement Mike Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA, commented: We cannot forget that 2009 saw the UK economy in the grip of one of the most severe recessions of recent times, which has naturally impacted on the entertainment industry. It is not surprising that the UK videogames industry has weathered the economic storm so well as games represent great value for money.

The UK videogames market is maturing – we are not seeing such explosive growth as in 2008, a sure sign that the market is coming of age.

"Consumers are shopping smarter and gaming is becoming more widespread across all demographics – this is demonstrated by the fact that a videogame (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) topped the Amazon best-sellers chart for the first time in 2009.

"Thanks to continued innovation from games publishers and developers, opening up new types of games and gaming methods, more and more consumers are becoming gamers and the industry is reaching new audiences.”

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