Video games beat DVD movies in UK revenue

Call of Duty certainly helped push the video game sector onwards and upwards
Darren Allan

March 22, 2012
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3

It’s official – video games are now the biggest money-spinning form of entertainment in the UK, with the total revenue from game sales exceeding DVD/video receipts in 2011.

Perhaps that’s not so surprising given that, at the close of last year, the news broke that Modern Warfare 3 outpaced the film Avatar in its speed of achieving $1 billion global revenue (in 16 days, one day faster than the movie).

The number crunching was done by the Electronic Retailers Association (ERA), which estimated that game sales throughout 2011 totalled £1.93 billion in the UK. Films on DVD and other video formats managed £1.8 billion, and music was well behind that on £1.07 billion.

However, ERA noted that thus far in 2012, video sales have doubled that of games, the BBC reports – further citing retailer Game facing administration as evidence of a shaky start to 2012.

Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA, told the Beeb: “This is a dramatic time for the entertainment market. It is an historic development for the games sector to have overtaken video last year. Video has long been the biggest entertainment sector. Sales so far this year, however, suggest video is not going down without a fight.”

However, it’s normal for the games industry to get off to a slow start to the year, as post-Christmas there are few game launches made. Indeed, this year was particularly weak, with nothing much really emerging until the latest instalments of Final Fantasy and Mass Effect. So the lack of momentum so far is partially a seasonal thing.

Total revenue for the entertainment sector did fall in 2011, down 3.3% to 4.8 billion, despite video games growing its presence (and accounting for 40% of the market).


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