Gaming has become the main entertainment industry in the UK in terms of revenues for the first time according to a study carried out by Verdict Research.
The analyst firm posits that spending on games will defy the current economic gloom to reach £4.64 billion, higher than the combined sales of music and video at £4.46 billion.
The 42 percent rise since 2007 means that the industry is now more than twice its size back in 2003. In comparison, music and video (mainly DVD) sales have increased marginally by 0.6 percent to reach £4.4 billion.
Although piracy could be one of the reasons why the growth rate at which music and video sales has been slashed to less than one percent, analysts say that high street stores are also giving more shelf space to video games which are more profitable.
And Verdict Research to add that “Games represent a relatively cheap, exciting pastime" and with the arrival of brand new platforms like the Apple iPhone, a slowing down of games sales is nowhere in sight.
Grand Theft Auto IV, Fallout 3 and FIFA 08 have been major revenue generators this year and the trend is set to continue with the likes of Little Big Planet.
However, a spokesperson for Entertainment Retailers Association say that the data does not reflect the market since Verdict Research chose to include gaming hardware which accounts for a substantial portion of the revenues.
And the cyclical nature of the game industry means that this Christmas may well be a record-breaking one.