Total UK videogame product sales drop 29% in two years

But PS3 and 360 grow, plus $60m revenue estimated from social games

Sales figures released today by UKIE reveal that videogame product sales (including software, hardware and accessories) totalled 2.875 billion for the year just ended.

The likes of social games, mobile, DLC and second-hand sales, all believed to be big growers in 2010, were not encompassed by UKIE's figures.

The 2.875 billion total, however, marks a 13 per cent drop from 2009, and is down 29 per cent from 2008's 4.034 billion.

UKIE was nonetheless optimistic about 2010's results, hailing the UK games industry as "continuing to perform strongly." The association formerly known as ELSPA observed that, at 2.3 million units, combined hardware sales for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was equivalent to those of 2009.

This generated 232 and 229 million for Microsoft and Sony respectively, with Xbox 360 deemed the console with the biggest hardware turnover in 2010.

Hardware sales for other platforms totalled 339 million, with exact figures for the likes of Wii and DS left unrevealed.

Console software sales alone generated 1.45 billion, down 10.5 per cent from 2009 and 24 per cent from 2008. Xbox 360 led in terms of game sales too, shifting 18.2 million software units (538 million) against PS3's 13.8 million (414 million).

Both platforms saw slight growth despite the all-formats decline - with the PS3 rising from 11.9 million units in 2009 and the 360 earning its second consecutive year as the UK's number one software format.

In total, 63 million games were sold across all platforms during 2010, down from 74.6 million last year.

UKIE director general Mike Rawlinson stated that "Despite 2010 being a tough year for the economy, the videogames and interactive entertainment industry continues to perform strongly. As the UK's leading creative industry, these figures demonstrate the increasingly popular position of video games in everyone's everyday lives, and the strength that the sector has to see it through tough times."

While UKIE does not have figures for other markets such as social and mobile games, it referred to a Screen Digest report putting UK social network game revenue at around $60 million in 2010.

Added Rawlinson, "The UK videogames market has something for everyone, with the market expanding into new areas, particularly online, on mobile phones and on other interactive devices.

"Thanks to continued innovation from games publishers and developers more and more people are playing games. With one in three people now considering themselves gamers, interactive entertainment is increasingly part of everyone's everyday lives."

UKIE also highlighted the record-breaking performance of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which shifted 2 million units and brought in 82 million during its first five days on sale.

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Latest comments (9)

Digital sales are unaccounted for. Surely these must contribute to something like 20-30% of market sales these days
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Lyubomir Man. artist, Liman7 years ago
The torrent sites screwed up all the software industry. I think that is the main reason for all that...
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Peter Warman CEO & Co Founder, Newzoo7 years ago
Total games spend is 3.7bn Pounds including social, casual, mobile, MMO, DLC and pre-owned. For the complete picture download the free Total Consumer Spend 2010 Report on [link url=][/link] Total decline taking all platforms into consideration is 3only %.
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Laurent Benadiba CEO, SDP Games7 years ago
Worthy read. I do think the console part should be split up in download console / retail console, as well as mobile splitting the iOs part, but these numbers are much more relevant to the state of the industry. Thanks Peter.
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James Ingrams Writer 7 years ago
There is no way modern games sales on the internet account for the 30% decline. Look at the Top 10's at Steam and Impulse and Gamergate and D2D and you see plenty of retro titles. Then you have the huge success of selling retro, and ebay say retro gaming sales have increased by 74% in the three years they have had a retro gaming section all point to retro gaming having a large impact on modern game sales. As modern AAA games all become action and graphic focused, so many gamers are going back to older games that concentrated on excellent gameplay! At any time, I would suggest, there are as many people playing System Shock 2 as are playing Bioshock 2. A modern game release might get a 4 week blip, but after that sales decline very quickly. For example, you can already get Fallout New Vegas for PC for under $17!

Over 80% of AAA titles lose money, so something is changing out there, and I would say it is retro gaming with more and more console and PC gamers more interest in titles release pre 2006 than after 2006! 5 million DOSBox downloads show how many PC gamers are going back even earlier to the great games of the mid 90's!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Ingrams on 4th January 2011 5:14pm

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Adrian Nantchev Animator - General 3D 7 years ago
Tere is doubt, even with these slightly lower results, that the video games indsutry is making a mark in the economy and on the world.

I am thankful that I am studying to become a video games designer and in my final year before university.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game7 years ago
So the overall figure is down, but xbox and ps3 are up, so the loss of sales was in the areas of Wii, PC and handhelds. But we all could see the large sales of Wiis to super casual audiences who generally don't like games wasn't going to last.
Then PC, but digital sales weren't counted, so the shift towards Steam and other services seems a massive blind spot.
And for handhelds, it is glaringly obvious how much ground Apple has made in this area, but mobiles weren't counted.
How can you take figures seriously if they ignore steam and iPhone?
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Julian Cram Producer 7 years ago
Imagine for a moment if this were something important, like war casualties...

"Our reports say there are less people dying in the Afghanistan War this year compared to last! Yay US!
"But we didn't include Afghani combatants, nor Taliban, and we lumped all the non-UK soldiers into one statistic."

There would be outrage by the media reporting it!

What a ridiculous waste of a survey! This is pretty useless statistics overall if they don't separate Wii and DS, nor include casual / indie / phone apps.

Can it be used to show anything about the games industry in 2010 apart from "oh, a slight decline" which could be due to, oh I don't know, the fact the world economy has gone to shit!

And the games journalism industry needs to grow up and challenge these sorts of bullshit surveys, rather than promote rubbish, half-assed "analysis" of the industry they wish to write about.
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Nick Gunn 3D Artist 7 years ago
Haha. Excellent comments Julian. The statistics a fairly useful but don't show the full picture.
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