80% of video game sales are now digital in the UK

New figures gathered by the ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association) show that digital game sales now account for 80% of all video game sales in the UK. Before I go any further and lead people to believe something that isn’t true I would like to stress that this figure also includes mobile games and micro transactions, both of which aren’t usually purchased in a shop, so please take these figures with a pinch of salt. I wanted to make that clear first, as there’s various news websites shouting about this figure but leaving that key point out.

The full sales breakdown can be found below:

Game sales breakdown 2017 Sales (£m) 2018 Sales (£m)
Physical £792.4 £769.9 -2.8%
Digital £2,750.0 £3,094.0 12.5%
Total Games £3,542.4 £3,863.9 9.1%

Source: ERA

As well as the revelation that people are beginning to buy games digitally (who would have thought), another interesting fact is that gaming sales in 2018 were higher than both music and video combined for the first time, and this includes both physical sales and digital sales. The gaming market is now worth a whopping £3.864bn, a number which has more than doubled since 2007.

Interestingly, physical game sales kept fairly stable in 2018, dropping only 2.8%, while video and music physical sales took a huge hit, dropping 16.9% and 16.6% respectively. 

This is, of course, great news for all gamers out there, as more sales means more money in developers pockets, which should lead to them having more money to invest back into developing even better games in the future; unless it’s EA, of course, who will just split the profits with their shareholders and give us mostly the same games year on year, riddled with micro-transactions so they can milk their fans for as much as they can.

If you’re interested, the top selling ‘physical’ games of 2018 were as follows:

Position Title Company Physical Unit Sales
1 FIFA 19 Electronic Arts 1,889,401
2 Red Dead Redemption 2 Take 2 1,757,212
3 Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 Activision Blizzard 1,172,855
4 Marvel’s Spider-Man Sony Computer Ent. 676,621
5 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Nintendo 458,675
6 Far Cry 5 Ubisoft 434,133
7 Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy Activision Blizzard 430,551
8 God Of War Sony Computer Ent. 399,395
9 Forza Horizon 4 Microsoft 392,960
10 FIFA 18 Electronic Arts 351,788
11 Grand Theft Auto V Take 2 339,805
12 Spyro Reignited Trilogy Activision Blizzard 333,725
13 Battlefield V Electronic Arts 313,100
14 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Ubisoft 305,937
15 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo 284,155
16 Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo 240,710
17 Call Of Duty: Wwii Activision Blizzard 230,576
18 Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! Nintendo 227,767
19 Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Square Enix / Microsoft 226,125
20 Fallout 76 Bethesda Softworks 218,534
Ricky spent most of his childhood playing games, mainly FPS and RPG games and this has continued into his adult life. You’ll regularly see him on Overwatch until he rages, then he'll move on to FIFA until he rages again - then he gives up on multiplayer games and chills out with a single player adventure.

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