According to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), the video game market, minus hardware, accounted for £3.86 billion in revenue in the United Kingdom last year. Of that near four billion amount, £3.09 billion, or an astonishing 80.1 percent, was made by digital sales. The digital sales revenue is garnered from a variety of sources including microtransactions, downloadable content (DLC), subscription services, and game sales themselves.
Overall video game digital sales revenue is up 12.5 percent year over year compared to 2017. Comparatively, physical video game sales revenue is down 2.8 percent year over year. However, the video game market did grow 9.1 percent over the course of last year. The ERA also concluded that, mainly because of digital sales, the UK video game market has more than doubled in value since 2007. Not only this, but the video game market now accounts for over half of the overall entertainment market in the UK, beating the music and video markets combined. This is due to the video game market taking advantage of “new services” such as “direct to console downloads to mobile and social gaming.”
Kim Bayley, the CEO of the Entertainment Retailers Association, stated that:
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 ERA also determined the top twenty best selling physical games in the UK last year thanks to numbers provided by GfK Chart Track. The top three games in order are EA’s massively successful soccer franchise entry FIFA 19 at number one selling 1.89 million physical copies, Rockstar’s Western epic Red Dead Redemption II siting in at second with 1.76 million physical copies sold, and 2018’s entry in Activision’s massive Call of Duty franchise Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 placing third by selling 1.17 million physical copies.