Immense growth in UK sales is positioning videogames to squash other entertainment media this year.
Music? Movies? Nah, gaming is where it’s at in the UK. This week, BBC News reports a large shift in consumer spending will put videogames on top of the market in 2008. Research analysts predict game sales will rise to £4.64 billion in the UK this year – an increase of about 42 percent over the past year. In contrast, music and video sales are predicted to reach £4.46 billion.
Entertainment Retailers Association spokesperson Steve Redmond says it’s been a great year for the games sector, but suggests the analyst report is padded by the inclusion of hardware sales among the software figures. “Our prediction is that games will overtake video by the end of this year but not music and video combined,” he said. The most current data provided by 2007 sales figures from the ERA places games software at £1.7 billion in comparison to £1.4 billion for music and £2.2 billion for video sales.
The music retail industry is being hampered by an increased shift from retail store sales to online CD sales, according to Malcolm Pinkerton of Verdict Research. As a result, retailers are scaling back on music and filling the space with games and other hot-selling items.
In comparison, games have made solid sales growth over the past five years and continue to increase.