In Brief

Gaming now bigger than music and video combined

Fifa 19, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty all sold 1m-plus copies in 2018

The UK video games industry has doubled in value since 2007, making it bigger than music and video combined.

Figures from the British-based Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) reveal that the UK gaming sector is now worth £3.86bn, with hit titles Fifa 19, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 selling more than one million physical copies each in 2018, Sky News reports.

Metro notes that the ERA’s report does not account for mobile and free game downloads, both of which will often allow players to purchase in-game items. 

This includes Fortnite, the highly popular multiplayer game that has more than 200 million users across mobile, console and PC platforms, the news site says.

“The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment,” said ERA chief executive Kim Bayley. 

“Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest,” she said.

It’s believed that downloadable games, expansion packs and micro-transactions - where players pay real-world money to unlock in-game items - have helped the industry become a major revenue maker, says Gamespot.

Overall, digital purchases accounted for 80% of all games sales in the UK in 2018, the gaming site adds.

Piers Harding-Rolls, games research chief at UK information provider IHS Markit, told the BBC that “games are now truly mass market and a very important part of the entertainment sector”.

He added: “The flexibility of interactive content means it is unique in that it can be monetised in this way, which is an advantage over other forms of entertainment.”

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