UK video game revenues exceeded £4bn for the first time in 2020

Video games generated £4.2bn in revenues in the UK in 2020, the first time it has breached the £4bn threshold.

The figures come from preliminary data compiled by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), who estimate that entertainment revenues as a whole by 16.8% to a record £9.05bn.

Games proved by far the most profitable (beating music and video), which they have been since games became the UK’s biggest entertainment sector back in 2013, when sales reached £2.3bn.

The £4.2bn generated in 2020 is a jump of 14.5% on 2019 overall, but digital (perhaps predictably, given the pandemic) saw the largest jump of all. The digital games business, which ranges from mobile and streamed games to downloads, grew by 16.3% to £3.6bn in 2020.

This makes the digital games business alone larger than the entire video market, and twice as big as the music market.

While less impressive, physical games also saw growth in 2020, with a 4.6%  increase to £598.5m.

The main drivers behind this growth are, predictably, the COVID-19 pandemic and the launch of the new generation of consoles in November 2020.

The UK’s best-selling game, meanwhile, was FIFA 21, with sales of 2.18 million units.

Best-selling Games 2020
Chart Position Title Total Unit Sales
1 FIFA 21 2,182,694
2 Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 1,420,353
3 Grand Theft Auto V 1,127,222
4 FIFA 20 903,810
5 Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 897,350
6 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* 810,462
7 Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 665,815
8 The Last Of Us Part II 539,247
9 NBA 2K20 481,507
10 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege 436,957

Source: GSD Data provided by ISFE. Digital sales weeks 1-52 2020. *No digital data provided

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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