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Videogames outsell DVD and Blu-ray in 2008

By James Lee

Mon 26 Jan 2009 8:42am GMT / 3:42am EST / 12:42am PST

Games software market worth $32 billion, while economic downturn takes its toll on packaged media

Retail sales of videogames overtook that of DVD and Blu-ray for the first time, as sales of packaged media grew 6 per cent worldwide to hit USD 61 billion in 2008, according to Media Control GfK International.

Videogame sales grew 20 per cent in 2008, to USD 32 billion, which GfK says was driven by the popularity of Nintendo Wii, while combined DVD and Blu-ray sales fell 6 per cent, to USD 29 billion.

GfK predicts games will grow to represent 57 per cent of packaged media sales in the next 12 months, up from 53 per cent in 2008 and 47 per cent the year before.

Videogame software sales are expected to grow 12 per cent this year, to reach USD 36 billion, as reported by This growth is in comparison to a decline in DVD and Blu-ray expected to be around 4 per cent to USD 27 billion - however Blu-ray itself will more than double to USD 2.9 billion.

The 2008 result is under GfK's mid-year forecast, which had predicted games would grow by 22 per cent, as well as DVD and Blu-ray growing 1 per cent. GfK's US president, Amy Heller, attributed the underperformance to the current economic downturn.

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,438 2,953 1.2
So CD sales are now at less than 2 billion worldwide?

Posted:6 years ago

Since this survey only measures the sales of physical DVD/Blu-ray mediums this isn't very surprising.

More and more people are moving towards digital distribution systems for movies and the popularity of services such as Netflix can be attributed to less DVD sales in stores.

From my personal experience, the people who had purchased 4+ DVDs a month in the past have moved to these types of services because its a more cost effective and convenient way of maintaining their desire to watch movies at home.

Posted:6 years ago


Ben Mansell Account Manager, GfK

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Digital distribution may be limiting physical sales figures for DVDs, but it's doing the same for Games. The two million copies of Left 4 Dead Valve shipped on Steam aren't included, for example, and that's just one game.

Posted:6 years ago

Yes, but console/hand held gamers still only have one option and thats buying in store (for now). So while it is affecting in-store PC game sales, the console market is fairly untouched in regard to digital distribution of retail games.

Although I believe more people are moving towards digital distribution, a most of the gaming market's sales are immune to it. If you look at the past few years, in store PC game sales have been steadily decreasing. PC game sales made up less then 20% of 2007's total game sales and about 10% of 2008's total game sales. This is why digital distribution has little to no effect on in game store sales.

However the entire market of DVD sales is susceptible to digital distribution and the growing popularity of Online DVD rental. The only partial exception is that you cant yet stream Blu-ray quality video straight to your TV.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Amirrezvani on 29th January 2009 4:33am

Posted:6 years ago


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