Despite the economic downturn, British retailers sold a record number of games, DVDs and music in 2008 – with video games ahead of the pack, establishing the medium as the most successful entertainment business of the ear.
The Entertainment Retailers Association has revealed that its members a total of 485.8 million units across all three entertainment sectors during the year, an increase of 4 per cent when compared to 2007, according to Reuters.
Games were highlighted as the fastest-growing sector, showing a 17 per cent rise to 82.8 million units sold, led largely by the Wii's strong performance.
According to The Times, the UK's 2008 software sales of 1.9 billion in 2008 outperformed the 1.33 billion generated by music sales, and increased the gap between the two markets.
While games saw growth across the board, music saw album sales fall by 3.2 per cent and while the sales of singles rose by 33 per cent, this growth is due largely to the strong sales of music downloads.
The success of the video games industry was attributed to the expanding audience.
ELSPA's managing director Mike Rawlinson said: What we have seen is the market broaden. There is a new category of family games – Mums, Dads and children playing on a Wii – or older people playing games like Brain Training, which they may not consider a game but which is interactive entertainment.”
The ERA is confident that all three entertainment markets will see growth in 2009, despite the ongoing recession.
The group's director-general Kim Bayley said: I don't see any reason why consumer demand will alter, although growth my flatten out. Entertainment has always done well in downturns.”