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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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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.