Video games now account for over half UK entertainment market revenue

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The video games sector now accounts for more than half of the entertainment market, according to new figures.

The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) said the gaming market’s value rose to £3.864 billion, more than double what it was worth in 2007.

It now makes gaming a larger market than video and music combined for the first time.

The figures show three games – FIFA 19, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – each sold more than one million physical units in the UK across games consoles during 2018.

ERA chief executive Kim Bayley said: “The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment. Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest.”

The figures also do not take into account digital game sales as well as mobile and free games downloaded and played, the most notable of which is Fortnite – the free-to-play battle royale game which now has more than 200 million players globally.

The ERA said despite physical unit sales shrinking by about 2.8% in 2018 and digital growth categorised as a “modest” 12.5%, the industry now accounts for 51.3% of the total entertainment market.

Overall, the entertainment market grew to an all-time high of £7.537 billion, the ERA said, driven by the growth of digital streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix, with revenue from such services accounting for more than three quarters (76.1%) of total sales.

Chris Price