It’s Official – Gaming is The Highest Grossing Entertainment in The UK
We are used to good news from the gaming industry. It is nothing new that video games and video game platforms generate substantial revenues. They have become an essential part of our recreational activities, and for a growing number of gamers, video games are a way of making a living. But the recently reached milestone is a new highpoint for gaming. With the release of the market analysis of the Entertainment Retailers Association in January, it became official. Gaming accounts for over half of all entertainment generated revenue, 51.3% to be exact.
The ever-growing appetite of British gamers has catapulted the revenues of the gaming industry to £3.86bn, an increase of 9.1%. While physical sales of games shrunk, digital downloads rose by 12.5%. To
bring that into perspective, 80% of all games where digital downloads. But when it comes to AAA titles, customers still prefer hard copies. 75% of AAA titles were physical. According to the analysis of the ERA, the highest contributors the overall increase in revenue are console downloads and mobile games. The number one spot for most game copies sold goes to FIFA 19 with 1.89 million sales. Red Dead Redemption made 1.75 million sales and is second place, followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 with 1.17 million copies. Number four goes to Spiderman on the PlayStation, which makes it the most successful exclusive title. The PS4 was again number one most sold console, albeit not growing that much in overall sales in respect to last year. The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, booked a growth of more than 20%. In total, 2.4 million consoles were sold in 2018.
With these results, gaming is now bigger than music and film combined. The music industry made £1.33bn in sales, while the film industry grossed £2.33bn. The gaming industry of the UK has definitely a strong foundation. Many big players of the international gaming industry are based here. Rockstar North, Criterion Games, Sports Interactive, Playground Games and Rocksteady had all huge international success with their releases. Two thousand two hundred sixty gaming companies make the UK one of the world hubs for gaming innovation and development. The gaming industry in the UK is the fifth largest in the world, only surpassed by China, USA, Japan, and Germany. A report
compiled by the British Film Institute states that 20,430 people are employed in the gaming sector, which contributes £1.52bn to the economy.
Adding companies indirectly related to the gaming sector, like e-sports or merchandising, these figures rise to 47,620 people employed and £2.87 gross value added to the economy. The report is based on data obtained in 2016, and when compared to 2013 they doubled. According to the report, this can be partially linked to the tax incentives the gaming industry was granted in 2014. With the Video Games, Tax Relief gaming companies were able to reclaim 20% of production costs if they qualified. According to estimations, 68% of the games which got supported through the tax relief would not have been made, if the bill had not been introduced.