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Chart-Track reports shrinkage of 29% in February UK market

By Dan Pearson

Chart-Track reports shrinkage of 29% in February UK market

Thu 08 Mar 2012 2:00pm GMT / 9:00am EST / 6:00am PST

But uncounted digital sales likely to make up some of the shortfall

GfK Chart-Track

‘Chart-Track Ltd’ took over Gallup’s chart contracts in March 1996. The company was formed by the ex-Gallup...

UK retail tracker GfK Chart-Track has reported that the UK games market in February lost 29 per cent of its sales compared to the previous year. Those lost sales represent a 25 per cent drop in value.

A report from MCV highlights the figures, which show Final Fantasy XIII-2 to be the month's best performing game, followed by Konami's Metal Gear Solid collection.

However, Chart-Track's figures are still largely focused on boxed sales, with efforts to include digital retail thwarted somewhat by the closed systems of Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and Valve. How much of that shortfall is compensated by sales of DLC and downloaded titles remains a mystery.

The period covered is January 29 to February 25, which includes a week of Vita sales but few major releases. Overall, the body recorded 2,314,424 games sold during the month, resulting in revenues of £55 million.

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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve

371 354 1.0
I really hope we can get digital sales in sales data soon, the music industry is often seen as slower to adapt than the games industry but they've been able to do it for years. I bet with digital sales we'd see at least a very close number, perhaps even higher than last year.

Posted:4 years ago


Dan Pearson European Editor,

148 467 3.2
The problem is that we'll never see full sales disclosure from Steam, XBLA or PSN. There's an argument that including some but not all digital sales will skew figures to an even lesser degree of accuracy.

Posted:4 years ago


Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

490 302 0.6
Unlikely that digital sales make up that shortfall. That seems to be the wishful thinking from our industry at the moment. The problem is that revenues earned by companies (which are reported) are clearly showing this is not the case.

Most people seem to be either buying from bricks and mortar shops, online brick and mortar shops like amazon or as a last resort digital. In the case of digital I already know a few people who have adopted "no physical copy to be had so I gave up!" attitude. In this regard lost shop sales in no way are translated into equivalent digital ones. The almost identical price is already being seen by consumers as a blatant rip off.

Posted:4 years ago


Nick Parker Consultant

362 262 0.7
Yup, we need digital sales but what was doing so well in February 2011 to have such weak comparables?

Posted:4 years ago


Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,018 2,375 1.2
@ Peter

And then you have people like me (though I'm not sure how many there are of us), who won't buy physical unless there's a code that we can register on Steam or Origin, and it's cheaper than a digital release. We probably don't amount to that many, but when you consider how much cheaper digital copies can be compared to physical, it's (probably) a number that's growing.

Posted:4 years ago


Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

534 801 1.5
I do like how there's this article that points out "doesn't include digital sales", and then right near it on the same page a headline about how rich Gabe Newell is. :)

Posted:4 years ago


Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 595 0.4
It is not just digital distribution, it is also platform proliferation.
Free to play MMOs like Runescape and Habbo are massive. As are all the Chinese MMORPGs like Evony. Then there are games on some of the social networks. Plus the huge renaissance in PC gaming. Which is all before the veritable explosion in mobile. The Apple App Store alone has 25 billion downloads to date. And the iPhone is not even the number one smartphone.
So counting the sales of plastic and cardboard is only a measure of how quickly the public are moving away from retail distribution. In the real world far more games are being played for far longer by far more people than ever before. Gaming is expanding at one of the fastest rates in its entire history.
Angry Birds has 700 million downloads. That is more than the total installed base of all 5 playstation consoles. plus both Xbox consoles plus the Wii. Consoles are increasingly irrelevant except to the minority hard core audience.

Posted:4 years ago


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