Residents of the United Kingdom bought a combined 63 million games for console and PC over the last year.
According to Wikipedia, the UK has 62,041,708 inhabitants as of the 2010 census. According to official figures released by trade body UKIE, there were enough game sales in the region over the past year to give every single one of those inhabitants a shiny new copy of Black Ops, FIFA 11 or Gran Turismo 5 (or whatever) for the holidays.
UKIE's figures also show that all told, the UK games industry was worth £2.88 billion ($4.5 billion) in 2010, reports MCV. While this sounds like a lot of money (and it is), it is actually a step down from 2009, where the industry was estimated to have earned £3.31 billion over the year. However, these figures only track brick-and-mortar retail; it is more than possible that the growing popularity of digital distribution has softened the blow somewhat - but only somewhat.
Despite an overall decline in revenue, UKIE says that both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 saw growth in 2010. The 360 was the most lucrative platform of the year, grossing £538m in sales over 18.2 million software units. The PS3 trailed, earning £414m with 13.8 million games sold. The two HD consoles were far more even on the hardware side of things, with the Xbox 360 narrowly edging out the PS3 in terms of revenue from hardware sales, £232 to £229.
While UKIE declined to release any sales numbers for Nintendo hardware and software, it says that the peripheral market had been the most lucrative of all, taking in 545m over 25.8m units sold. That's a lot of controllers and plastic guitars.
"Despite 2010 being a tough year for the economy, the video games and interactive entertainment industry continues to perform strongly," said UKIE director general Mike Rawlinson.
"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."
Righto! Jolly good, lads - smashingly brilliant! You guys still speak like that over there, right? I kid, I kid - I kid because I love.