Map of the UK

Gaming remains the UK’s biggest entertainment sector ‘by far’ 

A new report from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has revealed that UK consumers spent more than £100m a week on digital entertainment, be that digital music, video, or downloadable video games, in the first half of 2019.

Add on physical sales of entertainment products, the sectors grew by 4.5 per cent year-on-year across the period to £3.3bn.

Credit: ERA

ERA – the trade association representing the retailers and digital services offering music, video and games, including independent record shops, digital stores, and specialist high street operators – confirmed revenues in video games increased 1 per cent over the period to £1.56bn, and remains the biggest sector “by far”, accounting for “nearly half of the combined music, video and games markets”. 

For the first six months of 2019, the most successful game of the period was Grand Theft Auto V with 361,312 units sold, followed closely by FIFA 19, which sold 360,588 copies.

Credit: ERA

“With January-June historically the quietest half of the year, this is another great result for entertainment,” said ERA CEO Kim Bayley. “Digital services and physical retailers alike continue to innovate to expand the market for music, video and games.”

As for this week’s charts, Fire Emblem: Three Houses has confirmed its excellent launch by managing to keep its position at the top of the UK physical charts this week. Sales for the Nintendo Switch title were down 60 per cent week-on-week, which is decent for a second week on shelves, as sales usually drastically plummet. 

Taking advantage of a quiet week, FIFA 19 charted at No.2 following a 24 per cent boost in sales. The Switch version particularly did well, with sales for this edition going up 74 per cent week-on-week. 

The only new entry in the charts this week was another EA title, Madden NFL 20, which debuted at No.5. The title sold almost exactly the same number of physical copies than its predecessor at launch – it actually sold 88 extra copies compared to Madden NFL 19 during its first week last year. As EA’s digital shift accelerates, steady physical sales year-on-year is actually an excellent performance.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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