UK games industry enjoyed bumper 2009

The year 2009 was the second-strongest year on record for the UK videogames industry according to ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) which today revealed annual sales figures from GFK Chart-Track.

Total UK sales of all videogames software amounted to £1.621 billion, with growth in both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 formats. The total revenue for console hardware sales amounted to £1.06 billion, a decrease on 2008 mainly due to lowering average retail prices, the outfit said.

Mike Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA, said: “We cannot forget that 2009 saw the UK economy in the grip of one of the most severe recessions of recent times, which has naturally impacted on the entertainment industry. It is not surprising that the UK videogames industry has weathered the economic storm so well as games represent great value for money.

“The UK videogames market is maturing – we are not seeing such explosive growth as in 2008, a sure sign that the market is coming of age. Consumers are shopping smarter and gaming is becoming more widespread across all demographics – this is demonstrated by the fact that a videogame (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) topped the Amazon best-sellers chart for the first time in 2009.”

Nintendo Wii led the baying pack with software sales of over 18 million units in the UK, retaining the title of Number One software format by units sold. Sony’s PlayStation 3 saw a dramatic increase by 14 per cent of software units sold, from 10.4 million units in 2008 to 11.9 million units in 2009.

Overall, in 2009 UK consumers bought a total of 74.6 million games – more than one per person in the UK. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 which saw the biggest increase in software revenue in 2009, up four per cent from 2008 to earn £459 million and become the number one software format by revenue, overtaking the Wii.

The PlayStation 3 posted a two per cent increase of units sold compared to 2008. However it still could not overtake the Nintendo Wii which retained the lead as the most sold console of 2009. In total, 6.7 million videogame consoles were sold in the UK in 2009, which is one console for every nine people in the UK. The total value of console/PC gaming peripherals was £630 million in 2009, with total sales reaching 35.8 million units.

Overall, the total gross generated in the UK during the first 52 weeks of 2009 from the sale of all videogames, software, hardware and accessories, was £3.311 billion. This equated to 114.2 million units sold all-told in the UK.