New data from British industry body ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) and Chart-Track has revealed a detailed picture of the video games market in the UK, with both software and hardware sales up in the first six months, despite concerns about an ailing development industry.
Software sales for the first six months of 2007 have increased for all major formats to a value of £519 million ($1.04bn) – with an overall increase of 17 percent on the previous year. Unit sales growth was put at 19 percent with a total of 26.01 million pieces of software sold in six months.
Hardware sales for the first six months of the year have increased by 51 percent on the first half of 2006, with revenues increasing by 87% to £405 million ($813m). The total increase for software hardware and accessories was put at 42 percent for a six month revenue total of £1.02 billion ($2.05bn).
More detailed unit sales and revenues figures
have also been provided by format, showing domination by Nintendo with the Wii and Nintendo DS – with the company’s percentage of home console hardware sales rising from 1 percent in the first six months of 2006 to 40 percent in 2007.
Despite the strong retail news the UK has slipped down the table of producers of video games, behind that of Canada, the U.S. and Japan. Paul Jackson, director general of ELSPA, said: “The UK plays a huge part in the development of games that sell in the millions around the world.
“We are a huge part of UK PLC’s Creative Economy, but it is important to note that the future of this buoyant economy is uncertain as tax incentives and cost contributions of up to 38 per cent in other territories around the world are prompting a brain drain and an impact on IP ownership and Balance of Payments contribution," added Jackson.
He concluded, “The UK has spent years building up a significant skills and technology base, but the short and long term outlook as it stands is not good. We once again encourage Government to look at the issues raised by the respected economist Will Hutton in his recent report into UK Creative Industries.”