UK games market clutches chest, bleeds out sales in 2012
'Developers need to do better'
Retailers have blamed a lack of good video games in the summer of 2012 along with a patchy, uneven release schedule for the 17 per cent shrinkage in the value of the UK games market last year. Worth £1.9bn in 2011, the sector brought in £1.6bn in 2012 according to stats released today by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
UK entertainment sales as a whole fell 12 per cent last year - video was down 10 per cent and UK music sales were down 5.5 per cent.
Scene from The Walking Dead. The UK's games market is not looking particluarly lively either
The report from the retailers organisation described the year in video games as "lacklustre" and said that the Olympics had depressed releases in the summer. Head of the ERA Kim Bayley suggested that bricks-and-mortar stores could be forced into opening their doors only during the "release season" rather than year-round if games makers continued to distort retail calendars with the timing of their releases.
The dearth of attractive releases during summer 2012 was clearly a significant factor. Suppliers need to do more to rebalance their release schedules and improve the quality of their releases.
No retailer can afford to pay overheads on a store for 52 weeks of the year if all the key releases are going to be concentrated in the last quarter.
Digital sales were a bright spot - rising for all three entertainment types - and increasing 11 per cent to £1bn a year - but that didn't make up for the 17.6 per cent fall in physical disc sales.
The trend away from hard copy sales was most pronounced for video games, where 34.6 per cent of money was spent on digital downloads.
Online spend on gaming largely went on Massive Multiplayer Online Games, social gaming and online console transactions - which at £552.2m were worth more than digital sales of music and video combined.
The ERA drew its figures from the Official Charts Company, which monitors music and game sales and from IHS Screen Digest, which measures sales of video and video games. Figures included sales to big US firms such as Apple and Amazon, but the ERA was unable to provide figures on the market share of specific companies. The figures don't include music streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, We7 and Rdio, where full market value data is not yet available. ®
Just a thought
It might be an idea if the games were cheaper in stores. Most shop utterly overprice their games resulting in guess what, people not buying them. Combine this with utter crap customer service and you have a recipe for no sales.
No blame on file sharing? Did someone misplace the press release template?
*Worth £1.9m in 2011, the sector brought in only £1.6m in 2012 *
Pretty sure you mean billion otherwise the sector is in more trouble than I thought
free to play is pure evil
Re: Good times ahead
>>A PC that can compete with the reliability and quality of a PS3 or Xbox 360 costs 4x as much and doesn't offer the ease of operation (just works) as a console.
[Citation Needed]. Funny that my desktop cost about the same as a PS3 and its been more reliable than the PS3 has with better components. If you're buying from a retailer like Dell or HP, you deserve what you get.
>>Why would anyone buy a PC for gaming?
Because some of us aren't console shackled stooges and actually like to do things like modding, or are into independent developers who wont pay Sony, Nintendo or MS licensing fees because they cant afford it. And in all honesty, I can and do build my own PCs aside from Laptops, I know what components are in it, I have control over my hardware and can incrementally upgrade so by the time your 6 year old console has caught up, Im still ahead of you in regard to hardware and software.
I have no rings of death. The only screens of death Ive had since Windows 2000 were when I had a DRAM module incorrectly seated and another time from forcing a Sony laptop into using video drivers that weren't intended for it. But the thing is, If I do manage to bork my system I can always restore it from a backup in a matter of an hour (or less) instead of having to take it to a Sony Store or mailing the bastard back to MS. I dont have to fuck around with being locked into one vendor or developer either. I also have backward compatibility, something Nintendo believes in and Sony did until it became expedient not to.
I do own a PS3, but Im much more into PC gaming.