Computer game sales have surpassed sales of videos for the first time in the UK in 2011, according to a report by the Entertainment Retailers Association.
Computer game sales have surpassed sales of videos for the first time in the UK in 2011, according to a report by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
The videogame industry is now the biggest entertainment category in the UK, with £1.926 billion earned in 2011 alone, over £100 million more than the £1.802 billion made in the video sector and nearly double the £1.066 billion made on music.
In terms of percentages, the games market in the UK ruled 40.2 percent in 2011, with video closely following at 37.6 percent and music trailing behind at 22.2 percent.
This is good news for the games industry, which is also set to get tax cuts from the UK government this year.
Falling sales in brick-and-mortar stores have not affected the overall growth of the games market, as more people are moving to digital downloads, as well as apps on smartphones and tablet computers, which makes access much more direct and cuts down on packaging and storage costs.
Digital delivery of game content now accounts for 26 percent of the games market in the UK, so there's still plenty of room for growth before games stores die out completely. However, we are already seeing the doom of local stores after GAME recently announced that it would be closing its hundreds of stores across the UK.
"This is a dramatic time for the entertainment market,” said Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA. “It is an historic development for the games sector to have overtaken video last year. Video has long been the biggest entertainment sector. Sales so far this year, however, suggest video is not going down without a fight."
Sales for the first 11 weeks of 2012 show that video is selling twice as much as games, but that will likely change as the year goes on and big games release. The Wii U's launch and big budget game releases around Christmas will likely make up a huge portion of the game market in the UK for 2012.
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