UK games retail banks on blockbusters as sales stumble

Call of Duty, Fallout and Star Wars Battlefront must deliver if UK games retail is to turn around a difficult 2015.

According to GfK Chart-Track data, physical UK game sales are down 8.5 per cent so far this year. October was a particular disappointment, with sales slumping 24 per cent compared with 2014.

But the real challenge has been in the console space. UK stores tell MCV that console sales are down by almost 20 per cent this year.

It’s a real worry, all the estimations at the start of the year was that 2015 would be one of growth,” reminded one head of games at a major UK retailer.

The big games are launching later than usual, and we’re banking a lot on Black Ops III, Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront to deliver the revenue.”

His opinion echoes that of GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs, who told MCV: If you look at the release schedule year-on-year, we had Destiny and Shadow of Mordor come out earlier in 2014. This year we have Battlefield, Call of Duty and Fallout in November, so the way we’ve expected things to phase is that September and October would be softer, and November stronger.”

Black Ops III launched last Friday to solid – if unspectacular – results (at least by Call of Duty standards).

The physical UK games market generated 50m last week, according to GfK Chart-Track, and one games store told MCV that software sales alone could hit 250m this month.

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