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UK Game Sales Show Significant Growth in 2017

Video games was the only entertainment medium to show growth of both digital and physical copies.

GfK and IHS data reveal new insights into what and how UK consumers are spending their money on. Game sales in the UK reached £3.35 billion in 2017 and the industry saw growth in both digital and physical sales.

Call of Duty WWII Beta Ardennes
Call of Duty WWII was the second best selling game of 2017. It has spent a total of nine weeks at the top of the UK sales charts tying with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

Digital accounted for 71.9% of all sales recorded in 2017. Digital distribution across all kinds of entertainment media continued to grow in 2017 often at the expense of physical distribution. Other entertainment mediums such as video and music saw increases in digital sales while physical sales declined. In the music industry, even digital sales have taken a hit as streaming has become the largest sector of the music industry growing over 40% this year alone.

The figures are as follows:

  • Physical video game sales rise 2.1% (£792.4 m)
  • Digital video game sale rise 12.% (£2.56 b)
  • Physical video sales dropped 17% last year (to £742.1m),
  • Digital video sales grew 22.2% to £1.9 million.
  • Physical music fell 3.4% (to £459.4m),
  • Music downloads dropped a massive 23.1% (to £165 million),
  • Music streaming grew 41.9% (to £577.1 million).

When compared to other entertainment industries video games bucked the trend showing a 2.1% increase in physical sales. Physical software sales accounted for £792 million of the total video game soft sales.

Titles such as Call of Duty WWII, which has spent a total of nine weeks at the top of the UK sales charts, helped lead the strong sales. Some companies such as EA struggled with setbacks this year, but others such as Nintendo and Ubisoft showed big gains over previous holiday seasons contributing to the year’s strong sales.

Entertainment Retailers Association CEO Kim Bayley described this year’s numbers as a “historic result which demonstrates the benefits of innovation and investment in new technology,” Not to dismiss physical sales entirely, she pointed out that physical sales of entertainment media still account for over £2 billion worth of business. They offer consumers something uniquely tangible and she believes “will continue to be with us for years to come”

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