UK Physical Games Sales Grow in Q1 2017 Despite Falls in Physical Video and Music

UK Physical Games Sales Grow in Q1 2017 Despite Falls in Physical Video and Music

The first quarter of 2017 is complete, and what a first quarter it was. It was a quarter that saw the releases of games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Resident Evil 7, Gravity Rush 2, NiOh, For Honor, NieR: Automata, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, LEGO Worlds, Yakuza Zero, and more. Oh, and the Nintendo Switch launched. Yeah, it was a busy start to 2017, and arguably the most loaded Q1 ever in video games.

That being said, perhaps the news that — at least in the UK — physical game sales actually grew in Q1 2017 (despite physical sales in general declining with the continual rise of the digital marketplace), is not as surprising as you would think. However, despite it not being incredibly  surprising, it is news that still does come as some surprise, especially when you consider that physical movie and music sales both declined substantially for the quarter year-on-year.

That’s right, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel, UK physical game sales were up 0.5 per cent year-on-year for the 12 weeks that ended on March 12th. In contrast, physical video declined by 13 percent, and physical music sales fell by five percent.

Kantar’s consumer insight director James Brown accompanied the announcement with the following statement:

“A strong slate of new releases helped gaming maintain growth during the first quarter of 2017, with Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn proving particularly popular.

Brown goes on to point out that Argos and GAME particularly had strong showings:

“Argos and GAME experienced the biggest gains of any retailer over the past 12 weeks as a result, both achieving their highest first quarter market share in over five years.  GAME in particular had great success with games sold alongside consoles as part of a bundle; while sales of single games were flat year on year, bundles saw double digit growth.”

Will this trend spill over into Q2 2017? Personally I don’t think so, after all there is considerably less “big launches,”  but only time will tell.

In other recent and related news: Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Wildlands was the best-selling game at retail in the UK for the month of march, followed by PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn.