UK High Street beats downloads

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Online downloads, casual games and MMOs are little more than an irritant to retail – which is still a hugely dominant distribution channel.

That was the conclusion from the UK Department for Trade and Investment this week – as exclusively revealed by MCV sister mag Develop.

According to the UKTI's investigation into the industry, entitled Playing For Keeps, traditional and online retail took 72 per cent market share of all UK games sales in 2006.

Mobile phone downloads were second in the list, with 10 per cent of all sales, whilst online full-game direct downloads took just 0.4 per cent. MMOs made up 6.7 per cent of the total sales.

In the report, the UKTI predicted that retail's sustainability was ‘good', and that it would ‘retain its position for at least the next five years, and probably longer'.