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UK spent 1.6bn on video games in the first half of 2019

Games account for 47% of all money spent on entertainment products, outstripping music and video

New figures show that UK consumers spent almost 1.6 billion on video games in the first six months of the year.

The Entertainment Retail Association has released its market report for H1 2019, which shows games remains the highest-grossing sector of the entertainment market.

In total, UK consumers spent 3.3 billion on games, music and video from January to June -- meaning the 1.56 billion taken by games accounts for 47% of all money spent.

Games showed the least growth, with spend only rising by 1%, but remains the entertainment powerhouse.

Digital sales were the biggest driver, with revenues up 2.4% year-on-year to 1.38 billion. That's more than the 1.07 billion spent on both physical and digital video combined.

Physical games revenue, however, slipped by 8.5%, down to 184.9 million. However, this was the least dramatic decline across all entertainment sectors, with music downloads dropping the most, down 26.1%.

Boxed games sales are also still above music's 138.8 million (down 13.8% year-on-year), but fell behind video's 215.8 million (down 23.3%).

Looking again at the overall entertainment market, digital has well and truly over, accounting for 2.76 billion spent (up 9.8%). This includes the 485.9 million from music streaming services. Physical retail, meanwhile, is down 16.3% to 539.5 million.

While games leads the way in revenue, it still falls a little behind in unit sales. Even the top-selling game of H1 2019 -- unsurprisingly, Grand Theft Auto with 361,312 units sold -- doesn't match the best-selling album.

The Greatest Showman soundtrack sold 380,929 units in the same period, although the next biggest seller -- Lewis Capaldi's Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent -- only sold 229,340 units, which is less than the top five best-selling games.

Videos also outstrip games in terms of unit sales, with the biggest seller -- Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody -- shifting 1.45 million units. However, both GTA V and FIFA 19 did manage to outsell The Greatest Showman (337,132), Bumblebee (280,312), Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (266,987) and Avengers: Infinity War (262,221).

Below are the best-selling games of H1 2019. Only four are actually 2019 releases (and one of those is a remake of a 1998 title).

  1. Grand Theft Auto V (361,312)
  2. FIFA 19 (360,588)
  3. Tom Clancy's The Division 2 (263,520)
  4. Red Dead Redemption 2 (259,931)
  5. Resident Evil 2 (239,495)
  6. Days Gone (229,182)
  7. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (175,451)
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (172,065)
  9. Anthem (165,746)
  10. Forza Horizon 4 (144,790)

ERA's sources for games data includes ISFE and B2Boost for physical, and IHS Markit estimates for digital.

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