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The UK games market is now bigger than video and music combined

Games accounted for more than half of the entertainment market in the UK, dwarfing video and music, according to a new report from the Entertainment Retailers Association. The report attributes much of the success of the industry to console downloads and mobile gaming. 

This is despite the fact that the physical market is shrinking, while digital sales grew to a “modest” 12.5 percent. “[T]he sheer scale of the games market is such that it was enough to make it bigger than video and music combined,” reads the report.  

And even with physical sales being down, the likes of Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 still sold over a million copies on PS4 and Xbox One. But the reason the market has more than doubled since 2007 is largely down to the rise of digital.

“The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley said. “Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest.”

The report’s section on games is quite brief, however, and doesn’t explore what seem like more interesting changes than simple growth, namely the dominance of games like Fortnite and the increasing prominence of games as a service. The transformation even when compared to just a few years ago has been pretty huge. It wasn’t that long ago that we never had to have any discussions about loot boxes, and now they’re being talked about in government. I miss those days. 

"Games are big now" is kind of old news, granted, especially when they're seeping into everything and we've got League of Legends characters starting pop groups and interactive fiction being streamed on Netflix. Still, it's interesting to see how the numbers stack up against other entertainment mediums.

Fraser Brown
Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.