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ELSPA says 2006 was record year for UK games industry

ELSPA has declared that the British videogames industry hit an "all time high" in 2006 with a 7 per cent increase in the number of games sold - bringing the total number to 65.1 million units.

ELSPA has declared that the British videogames industry hit an "all time high" in 2006 with a 7 per cent increase in the number of games sold - bringing the total figure to 65.1 million units.

All-formats sales totalled GBP 1.36 billion - a new record, according to ELSPA, and an increase of 1 per cent over the figure for 2005.

The majority of console games purchased were for PlayStation 2, followed by Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii and GameCube. PC titles did well, with software sales up 7 per cent - making 2006 the platform's "best year ever".

It was also a good year for handhelds - DS and PlayStation Portable software sales just trailed the figures for PS2, with Nintendo's machine "slightly outdoing" the PSP.

The best-selling game of the year was FIFA '07 - one of four EA titles in the top ten. At number three it's Need for Speed: Carbon, with The Sims 2: Pets at six and The Sims 2 at nine.

Konami's PES 6 takes second place, while Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is in fourth followed by Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy at five.

Movie tie-in Cars is in seventh place, while Lara makes a comeback with Tomb Raider: Legend in eighth. Rounding out the chart at number ten is WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007.

"We are thrilled to see the industry growing and software sales continuing to rise," said ELSPA director general Paul Jackson.

"With the new generation consoles and new handhelds there are some amazing titles out there and consumers are continuing to enjoy them. There are new and exciting games available and more and more family orientated and mentally stimulating titles to grasp and hold the interest of all ages. This is also a testament to the industry and it will continue to gain momentum."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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