Research institute GfK has released its information and full year figures for the UK physical games market in 2016.
To begin, the numbers show that market fell 15.8% to £1.78bn in 2016. This number includes combined sales of physical games, console hardware, digital point cards, accessories, and toys-to-life figurines. However, it does not include TV consoles such as the NES Mini.
As for console hardware, it suffered the biggest drop in 2016. Sales of PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and 3DS and legacy devices generated £503m, a number that is down 27% compared to the £689.5m made in 2015. Almost every console dropped in sales both in units and revenue, and despite the release of the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro, both Sony and Microsoft couldn’t keep the sales going that it had in 2015. The only console that was an exception to the rule in 2016, was Nintendo’s 3DS family of consoles.
As GamesIndustry reports, these number suggest that the accelerated console cycle is causing a stepper drop off in sales that would be expected at this point.
While hardware took a hit, money generated by gaming accessories actually rose one percent year-t0-year, landing at £501m for 2016. Despite the toys-to-life figures’ market being hit with the cancellation of the Disney Infinity brand, gaming accessories saw an increase due to the three VR headsets launching this year: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. As GamesIndustry reports, if PlayStation VR had not been released, the accessories market would have declined in 2016.
Below, you can the Top 20 UK Accessories of 2016 (PlayStation VR and toys-t0-life not included):
|1||Xbox One Black Wireless Controller|
|2||PS4 DualShock 4 Controller – Black|
|3||PS4 DualShock 4 Controller V2 – Black|
|4||Xbox One S White Wireless Controller|
|5||Xbox One Chat Headset|
|6||Ear Force Recon 50X Headset Black (Turtle Beach)|
|7||Xbox One Play and Charge Kit – Black|
|8||Ear Force XO One Headset (Turtle Beach)|
|9||Xbox One Twin Docking Station Black (Venom)|
|10||Ear Force Recon 50P Headset (Turtle Beach)|
|11||Nintendo 3DS XL Power Adapter|
|12||Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter|
|13||PS4 DualShock Controller – Wave Blue|
|14||PS4 DualShock Controller – Magma Red|
|15||Ear Force Recon 30X Headset (Turtle Beach)|
|16||Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller|
|17||Xbox One Twin Battery Packs – Black (Venom)|
|18||Guitar Hero Live: PS4 Guitar Controller|
|19||Sony PS4 Camera V2|
|20||Wireless Stereo Headset 2.0 Black (Sony)|
Moving on to software, UKIE/GFK figures show that £776m was generated by boxed software sales (including toys-to-life starter packs) in 2016, which is a decline of 16.4% compared with the £927.6m of 2015.
The decline can largely be contributed to the retail flop of some big titles of the year, as well as the substantial decrease in Xbox 360 and Ps3 software sales.
In terms of market share, PS4 and Xbox One dominated, with almost 80% of all boxed games sold last year coming from either one of those platforms, while in 2015 that number came in at 66%. As for last generation consoles, PS3 and Xbox 360, only accounted for 8.1%, a fall from its 20% share in 2015.
Over at Nintendo, the Wii U saw a 2.5% software market share drop, while the 3DS increased its share year-on-year, which is notably impressive given how old the piece of hardware is.
Software Share by Platform – Units
|Last Year||This Year||Platform||Software Market Share (Units)|
In terms of software revenue, the top platforms are largely the same. The PS4, Xbox One, and 3DS accounted for 90% of the entire boxed software market, and all grew year-over-year.
Software Share by Platform – Revenue
|Last Year||This Year||Platform||Software Market Share (Revenue)|
When breaking down software sales by publisher, 2016 was once again won by EA, who accounted for 22.1% of all boxed games sold, a 3% increase over last year, which it also came out on top.
This comes as no surprise, when you find out FIFA 17 was the best selling game of the year, which sold 2.5 million boxed units during 2016 (almost double its nearest competitor), and Battlefield 1 came in at number three. Only three games sold more than 1 million copies at retail in 2016, and EA had two of them. In regards to revenue, EA dominated even more: accounting for more than 26% of the money spent on boxed games for the year.
All three platform holders increased their share of the UK boxed software market year-on-year. Nintendo, bolstered by Pokemon Sun and Moon, saw 1.6% market growth. Microsoft increased its software share by 0.3%, largely thanks to the better than expected performance of Forza Horizon 3. And lastly, Sony, on the back of Uncharted 4, increased its share by 1.4%.
Important to note: these charts only include physical sales:
Top 20 UK Games Publishers – Units
|Last Year||This Year||Company Name||Software Market share (Units)|
|11||10||Square Enix Europe||3.3%|
Lastly, we have the chart for the best selling games, at retail, for the year.
Once again, the chart is largely dominated by major sequels, with only five new IP in the All-Formats Top 50: Rocket League (which launched digitally in 2015), Overwatch, No Man’s Sky, Steep, and Tom Clancy’s The Division. Two of these IPS, The Division and Overwatch, managed to dig out a spot in the top ten.
Despite being three years old, GTA V is still pushing a large amount of units, coming in at number five for the year, and now selling over 6 million copies at retail, just in the UK since its launch.
In regards to exclusives, the highest charting game was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, coming in hot at number six. Forza Horizon 3 was the second best selling game at number 10, however, if Pokemon Sun and Moon sales were combined, it would have been the second best-selling exclusive game for the year.
The All-Formats UK Top 50 Boxed Chart 2016
|1||FIFA 17||EA/EA Canada|
|2||Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare||Activision/Infinity Ward|
|3||Battlefield 1||EA/EA DICE|
|4||Tom Clancy’s The Division||Ubisoft/Massive|
|5||Grand Theft Auto V||Rockstar/Rockstar North|
|6||Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End||Sony/Naughty Dog|
|7||Call of Duty: Black Ops III||Activision/Treyarch|
|8||Watch Dogs 2||Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal|
|10||Forza Horizon 3||Microsoft/Playground Games|
|11||Mafia III||2K Games/Hangar 13|
|12||Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition||Bethesda|
|13||FIFA 16||EA/EA Canada|
|14||LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Warner Bros/TT Games|
|16||LEGO Marvel Avengers||Warner Bros/TT Games|
|17||Star Wars Battlefront||EA/EA DICE|
|18||Minecraft: Xbox Edition||Microsoft/4J Studios|
|19||Far Cry Primal||Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal|
|20||Gears of War 4||Microsoft/The Coalition|
|21||Pokemon Sun||Nintendo/Game Freak|
|23||Pokemon Moon||Nintendo/Game Freak|
|24||Final Fantasy XV||Square Enix|
|25||Rocket League||505 Games/Psyonix|
|26||WWE 2K17||2K Games/Yuke’s and Visual Concepts|
|28||EA Sports UFC 2||EA/EA Canada|
|29||No Man’s Sky||Sony/Hello Games|
|31||Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege||Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal|
|32||Ratchet and Clank||Sony/Insomniac|
|33||LEGO Jurassic World||Warner Bros/TT Games|
|34||Minecraft: PlayStation Edition||Sony/4J Studios|
|35||Dark Souls III||Bandai Namco/From Software|
|36||Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2||EA/Popcap Games|
|37||Rise of The Tomb Raider: 20th Anniversary Edition||Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics|
|38||LEGO Dimensions||Warner Bros/TT Games|
|39||Minecraft: Story Mode||TellTale Games|
|40||Just Cause 3||Square Enix/Avalanche Studios|
|41||F1 2016||Codemasters/Codemasters Birmingham|
|42||WWE 2K16||2K Games/Yuke’s and Visual Concepts|
|43||Disney Infinity 3.0||Disney/Avalanche Software|
|44||Assassin’s Creed Syndicate||Ubisoft/Ubisoft Quebec|
|46||Halo 5: Guardians||Microsoft/343 Studios|
|47||Guitar Hero Live||Activision/FreeStyleGames|
|48||Just Dance 2017||Ubisoft/Ubisoft France|
|49||Skylanders Imaginators||Activision/Toys For Bob|
|50||Deus Ex: Mankind Divided||Square Enix/Eidos Montreal|
And that’s it for the UK in 2016. See you next year, where Windjammers obliterates everything in its path.