A recent report by the Entertainment Retailers Association, a trade association that represents most retailers and digital services in the UK, has shed light on a remarkable development in the country’s video games market. The games’ section now accounts for over half of the UK entertainment market. Plus, it has more than doubled in value over the past 10 years.
UK games sector now worth $4.89 billion
Digital sales in the video gaming segment grew 12.5 percent throughout the year, says ERA. While the physical console and PC games market shrank slightly last year, decreasing by 2.8 percent year-over-year, the explosion of popularity and revenue generation by the games market overall easily offset the slight decline.
According to the article, the proliferation of new services, from direct to console downloads to mobile and social gaming, have greatly contributed to the market’s ongoing expansion. That’s growth in line with the global gaming industry.
Thanks to this favorable development, the UK games industry, with a current market value of $4.89 billion, is now worth more than the country’s video and music industry ($4.62 billion) combined.
“The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment,” said ERA CEO Kim Bayley. “Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest.”
While most revenue comes in through digital channels, which generated 80.1 percent of all games’ revenues, some big titles, like FIFA 19, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Black Ops 4, still did well retail.
UK booming with gaming activity
As the gaming industry, and especially competitive gaming, booms, countries are opening doors. Last year, the UK hosted some new events that contributed to it being more recognizable on the esports radar.
ESL One, a major Dota 2 tournament, has found a new place in Birmingham, UK, for example. The $1 million tournament is a big event on the yearly esports calendar.
Then, the League of Legends scene in the country also received a boost in 2018. Riot Games, the game’s developer, announced a new office opening in the UK. That’s a great sign for the country’s future development of the industry.
Moreover, the British Esports Association, a national body for esports in the country, is also contributing. With an initiative to bring more esports activity to schools and colleges, the organization looks to expand the market for gaming and esports.
While compared to locales like South Korea, China, and North America, the UK is perhaps still a minor player in the overall industry, 2019 could bring even more growth.