Video games outsell movies in U.K.

Data shows video games have eclipsed movies in the United Kingdom in terms of sales. It's time for Her Majesty to start taking gaming seriously.

Activision

In the last year, consumers spent more money on video games in Britain than on films, including both trips to movie theaters and films on DVD, new figures compiled for U.K.'s Daily Telegraph indicate.

In the 12 months leading up to the end of September, 1.73 billion British pounds (about $2.8 billion) were spent on video games, according to data-monitoring company GFK Chart-Track. The U.K. Film Council said 1 billion British pounds ($1.6 billion) were spent at the British box office during the same period, with an additional 198 million British pounds ($320 million) spent on films released on DVD and Blu-ray.

  • U.K. video games: 1.73 billion pounds ($2.8 billion)
  • U.K. film: 1.198 billion pounds ($1.93 billion)

This means that approximately 532 million pounds ($860 million) more was spent on video games in 2009, roughly 30 percent more than on films. And while 1.73 billion pounds is impressive, it's still well shy of the $20 billion predicted for U.S. game sales in 2009. In fact, the U.S. spent $2.7 billion on games in November 2009 alone.

Video games, by no means a niche in the U.K, or most other parts of the world, are obviously big business and these statistics clearly show that the growth in new forms of digital entertainment specifically available via a computer or game console is having a major impact on more traditional forms of entertainment.

Contributing to the success of gaming in the U.K. were price cuts to jump-start sales, as well as tie-ins to supermarkets, greatly expanding the potential number of buyers and targeting gamers at the check-out stand, according to The Daily Telegraph. Further, Amazon.co.uk reported that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the No. 1 seller for 2009, beating out DVDs of "Harry Potter" and "Twilight."

The industry data compiled by GFK Chart-Track also shows that the number of games consoles being used in Britain nearly doubled in 2009 to 25 million which means there are enough consoles for nine out of every ten households in the country to have one.

According to the report, only television--including DVDs of television shows, along with the cost of the license and satellite subscriptions--and music are bigger forms of entertainment.

About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.

 

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