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UK video game spending rose to record $7.43 billion in 2018

Both software and hardware spending increased in 2018, although the VR and pre-owned games market witnessed some notable declines.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

April 2, 2019

2 Min Read

UK video game spending grew to a record £5.7 billion ($7.43 billion) during 2018, representing growth of 10 percent on 2017. That's according to data compiled by UKIE, which shows consumer spending on both hardware and software rose year-over-year. 

Breaking that down, overall software revenues eclipsed £4 billion ($5.21 billion) for the first time ever, rising by 10.3 percent year-on-year. As the graphic below shows, digital sales led that charge, with digital and online software revenue rising by 20.3 percent to £2.01 billion ($2.62 billion). 

Physical sales stagnated somewhat, with revenue from boxed games dropping by 2.6 percent year-on-year to £770 million ($1 billion). Mobile games revenue, meanwhile, rose by 8.2 percent to £1.17 billion ($1.52 billion). 

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit on the software front was the decline in pre-owned sales. Revenue from used titles dropped by 30.8 percent year-over-year to £68 million ($88.6 million), meaning that fewer people (in the UK at least) are going out of their way to grab second hand games. 

Game hardware also drove spending in 2018, with console sales rising by 6.5 percent to £702 million ($914.8 million), despite a lack of new devices on shelves. PC hardware also performed well, pulling in revenues of £445 million ($579.9 million), while peripherals and accessories also saw revenue rise by 19.9 percent to £355 million ($462.6 million). 

As the image below highlights, however, virtual reality hardware couldn't gather any momentum in 2018, and the VR hardware market witnessed saw revenue decline by 20.9 percent to £72 million ($93.8 million) in 2018. Overall, hardware accounted for £1.57 billion ($2.05 billion) of the UK game market's total revenue.

For more info on the UK video game market, including facts and figures from the world of game culture, be sure to check out the full report over on UKIE.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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