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 breakdown2017 Sales (£m)2018 Sales (£m)
Physical£792.4£769.9-2.8%
Digital£2,750.0£3,094.012.5%
Total Games£3,542.4£3,863.99.1%

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:

PositionTitleCompanyPhysical Unit Sales
1FIFA 19Electronic Arts1,889,401
2Red Dead Redemption 2Take 21,757,212
3Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4Activision Blizzard1,172,855
4Marvel’s Spider-ManSony Computer Ent.676,621
5Mario Kart 8 DeluxeNintendo458,675
6Far Cry 5Ubisoft434,133
7Crash Bandicoot N.Sane TrilogyActivision Blizzard430,551
8God Of WarSony Computer Ent.399,395
9Forza Horizon 4Microsoft392,960
10FIFA 18Electronic Arts351,788
11Grand Theft Auto VTake 2339,805
12Spyro Reignited TrilogyActivision Blizzard333,725
13Battlefield VElectronic Arts313,100
14Assassin’s Creed OdysseyUbisoft305,937
15Super Smash Bros. UltimateNintendo284,155
16Super Mario OdysseyNintendo240,710
17Call Of Duty: WwiiActivision Blizzard230,576
18Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!Nintendo227,767
19Shadow Of The Tomb RaiderSquare Enix / Microsoft226,125
20Fallout 76Bethesda Softworks218,534
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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