According to the Entertainment Retailers Association, 85.4% of the money expended on video games in the UK was spent on digital titles in 2020. Overall, the video games industry generated £4.4 billion in revenue, a 17.7% increase year-on-year.
Games also outsold videos and music, accounting for 48% of entertainment spending. Of the £4.4 billion total, $645 million was spent on boxed games, a 7.2% increase year-on-year, while £3.8 billion was spent on digital titles, a 19.7% increase year-on-year.
The fastest growing digital sector was video with sales soaring by 37.7% to £2.9 billion, driven primarily by the growth of subscription services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, however, physical video sales suffered the biggest decline, with spending on DVD and Blu-ray dropping 25.6% to £372.6 million.
Total sales of entertainment products, including games, video and music, reached a record high of £9.26 billion. 2020 was the eighth consecutive year of growth for entertainment retail, primarily due to a massive surge in streaming. Entertainment hardware also experienced exponential growth, reaching £25.7 billion.
“The entertainment market was already growing without coronavirus, but with much of the leisure sector shuttered due to lockdown, music, video and games were in the right place at the right time,” ERA boss Kim Bayley said.
ERA also reports that that 34.7% of consumers used mobile devices to play games, while 47.7% of gamers used Steam to download titles. The COVID-19 pandemic had a big effect on game spending as a result of nationwide lockdowns.
Based on figures from Sheffield Hallam University’s Leisure Industries Centre, the ERA also reported that “in home” leisure spending increased by 2.3% in 2020 to £77.7 billion. Meanwhile, “away from home” spending such as eating out, events, and holidays declined 38.6% to £154.1 billion.
In terms of game titles, FIFA 21 ranked first with among the top-selling video games in the UK in 2020 with sales of approximately 2.18 million copies. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and GTA 5 came in second and third place, selling approximately 1.4 million and 1.1 million units respectively, according to Statista.
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- Game News
- Fifa 21
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- GTA 5
Mark Lugris is a Contributing Writer at TheGamer. After graduating from the University of Connecticut, he’s worked as a lifestyle and technology writer and editor for the past twenty years in Boston, Madrid and Zurich. Now, he’s chosen the less stressful life of freelance writing at home with his dog, where he can focus on his pop culture passions like film, television, games and sports.
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