UK postal delivery service Royal Mail has issued a set of 12 new stamps celebrating “the joy of gaming with pioneering and influential UK-designed games from the 1980s and 90s”.
Developed in conjunction with video game industry representatives and UK games industry trade body Ukie, the set includes four stamps presented in a “Miniature-Sheet”, that “chart the evolution of the iconic Tomb Raider game and its archaeologist adventurer, Lara Croft”, as well as eight further stamps celebrating other notable British franchises, including Elite, Dizzy, Populous, Lemmings, Micro Machines, Sensible Soccer, Wipeout, and Worms.
Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist, OBE, said: “This collection celebrates a selection of the great British video games that have helped define both the national and global development scene over decades. Video games are a key part of our cultural footprint and we’re pleased to see their contribution recognised in such memorable style.”
“The UK has been at the forefront of the video games industry for decades,” added Philip Parker, Royal Mail. “In the 1980s and 90s young designers grappled with coding on the new microcomputers and set the template for the industry with iconic games. We celebrate some of their landmark creations on stamps.”
The stamps will be available on general sale at Post Offices across the UK from January 21st, 2020. A presentation pack containing all 12 stamps will retail for just under £15.
While video games remain the UK’s biggest entertainment sector – almost doubling the revenue generated in video and music combined – in 2019 the sector shrunk for the first time in seven years.
As MCV/Develop reported yesterday, a new report by the Entertainment Retail Association (ERA) shows the UK video game sector reportedly saw profits dip by 3.4 per cent to £3.77bn – the industry’s first year without growth since 2012.
“The reason for the stumble was the inevitable slowdown in sales ahead of the expected launch in late 2020 of the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles,” the ERA posits. “The last such downturn came ahead of the launch of the current generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles in 2013.”
The analysis also indicates a shift in consumer spending from physical to digital sales, with expenditure on physical games software declining 21.7 per cent in 2019 to £602.5m. Spending on online and mobile gaming, however, increased 1.1 per cent to £3.17bn.