Today, trade body Ukie revealed the UK games market was valued at a record £4.33bn in 2016, which is up +1.2% from the 2015 figures
The result shows positive growth for the games and interactive entertainment economy in the UK, including an +11.1% increase in digital console and PC games sales and an impressive +16.9% rise in UK mobile games revenue (now worth £995m). Overall, software sales in the UK exceeded £3bn for the first time ever.
Meanwhile, physical boxed software sales declined by -15.2% to £766.7m, however, this drop was more than covered by the gains in the digital and mobile spaces. Pre-owned software also saw a decline, but a much smaller one, falling -3.3% to £119m, with lower average selling price masking an increase of sales.
On the hardware front, the consumer release of the first wave of VR headsets helped fuel growth of the sector. VR hardware, which was included in market valuation for the first time, was valued at £61.3m. The impact of VR also extended to the increase in the sale of top-end graphics cards, which saw a huge +64% increase in PC game hardware to £258m.
Additionally, and as expected as the console cycle matures, sales of new console hardware declined -26.7% to £507m. Console peripherals and accessories met a similar fate, dropping -16.6% to £300.1m.
UK games events also saw a strong increase of 20.6%, thanks to a growing esports scene. Meanwhile, the success of both Pokémon GO and Minecraft were factors in increases in both game-related toys and merchandise and books and magazines, up +7.2% and +13% year-over-year respectively.
Games movies and soundtrack sales increased as well, jumping to £7.8m, a +14.4% increase. This increase was helped by Duncan Jones’ ‘Warcraft: The Beginning.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie accompanied the report release with the following statment:
“Our sector is constantly innovating and investing in new experiences, technologies and talent, resulting in the strong and resilient games industry shown in this £4.33bn market valuation. It has been an excellent year for the industry, including the release of first commercially available VR headsets, an exciting year for our national esports scene, and the explosion of the UK mobile market, which is now worth nearly £1bn alone.
These statistics will go a long way to reinforcing the message that the UK continues to be a world leading games market, remaining strong in the face of an uncertain political climate. Ukie will continue to use these stats to promote the strength of our sector nationally and worldwide to investors, the media, policy makers and more, to prove that the UK is the best place to make and sell games.
The next year will be a big year of change, but we look forward to seeing the market remain resilient and robust and a leading creative economy in the UK.”
According to Ukie, data was collated to build the total Market Valuation using trusted industry data sources such as Superdata, GfK, Kantar Worldpanel, Neilsen, NPD, ABC, The Official Charts Company and Ukie itself.