ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers’ Association) and Chart-Track have revealed that games sales in the UK are on the increase with sales of £738 million (31.3m units sold) in the first six months of 2008, a 42% increase on last year.
It’s not all rosey though, the increase has come thanks to Wii, Xbox 360 & PS3 and DS sales while PC game sales are on the decline down 29% on last year to £48 million (3.9m units sold).
Paul Jackson, Director General of ELSPA, said: “Games are now one of the most popular pastimes of the British – hence these remarkable figures. Our gamers are more mature than those of most countries – the average age of a player here is now 33 – and as our core gamers have grown up, so too have the revenues they bring in. Games are also proving themselves to be robustly recession-proof. Other retailers in the High Street have been struggling this year, but those selling games are not having such a tough time.
“Britain leads the way across Europe – and one in three games sold across the EU is also developed here. The challenge now is to ensure our success is not taken for granted at home or undervalued in any way – and to ensure we have the home-grown talent to ensure we will still be leading the way five years down the road.”
The decline of PC sales is no huge surprise, the UK is a console culture and more casual gamers are trying out systems like the Wii for the first time. Nintendo have been investing in large scale TV advertising campaigns that are enticing casual gamers to take the plunge and buy a DS or Wii.This is shown by the increase in hardware sales which are up 27% and much of that can be attributed to the DS and Wii.