It’s now midway through January, but the 2018 retrospectives are still rolling in. A recent report published by Gamesindustry.biz took a closer look at the state of the industry and trends of the world’s fifth largest gaming market: The United Kingdom. The UK is not only significant to the gaming industry as a major consumer market, but it is a powerhouse in game developers and content creation as well. Naturally, movements of the market there represents a microcosm that often reflects the state of the western gaming scene in general.
Unsurprisingly, as the story has been for the last two years, Sony and Nintendo are the two clear winners in the console wars, with the first-party battlefield dominated by the quality titles released by the two companies. According to the report, “48% of all boxed games sold last year in the UK were for PS4 (slightly down over 2017), and PS4 console sales topped over 1m (GI sources).”
The PS4 observed better year-to-year sales than the global trend, though the international dip is most likely attributed to the aging console rather than lack of content. As a publisher, Sony claimed 9.6% of the software market behind its first-party pillars Marvel’s Spider-Man and God of War.
Nintendo performed phenomenally as well, doubling its 2017 market share as 16.8% of all games sold were for the Switch. Its publishing front saw success as well, with 14.1% of all sold titles published by the Kyoto-based company. Interestingly, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe remains the best-selling title for Nintendo despite its 2017 release, but overall sales were still drastically boosted by major newcomers Pokemon: Let’s Go and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
On the third-party front, Take Two was the obvious standout, a 5.8% increase in market share almost solely from the pull of Red Dead Redemption 2. Electronic Arts, publisher of FIFA (perhaps the most popular video game series in the UK), struggled this past year despite claiming the top spot in publishing. The underperforming FIFA 19 and Battlefield V were likely to blame for the drop to 14.7% compared to last year’s 17%.
Surprisingly, Microsoft saw an increase in the publishing front largely due to the unexpected success of Forza Horizon 4, though the market share for the Xbox One saw a dip probably from the dominance of its two main rivals and the system’s inherent lack of exclusives.
For the full details regarding the winners and losers of this year’s UK gaming industry, check out the full report here.