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UK games market grows 12.4% to a record £5.11bn in 2017

The UK market for games was valued at a record £5.11bn in 2017, representing +12.4% growth on the prevoius year.

These results show strong growth across both the game software and hardware markets, with software revenues up +8.3% to all £3.56bn and hardware growing significantly by +27.1% to another record of £1.43bn. The analysis also includes an assessment of the wider spend on game-related culture, which was valued at £117m.

In software, data from games research company SuperData showed digital and online revenues grew by +13.4% to a record £1.6bn (incorporating full game downloads, DLC and in-game transactions, across both PC and console) and mobile revenues broke the billion barrier for the first time, growing +7.8% to £1.07bn.

Boxed physical copies of games reversed recent trends by increasing revenues +3.1% to £790m, driven by major franchises and games sales on the new Nintendo Switch, according to data provided by GfK Entertainment. As these sales of new games improve across both digital and physical, data provided by Kantar Worldpanel showed that pre-owned games sales declined by -15.1% to £101m.

2017 UK Games Market Valuation - Software

For the valuation launch event, Superdata provided some further insight on the UK game market via the below video:

Game hardware was a significant driver of consumer spend in 2017, with GfK data showing console sales growing +29.9% on the previous year to £659m, as players invested in new consoles such as the Nintendo Switch, PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Peripherals and accessories remained broadly steady over the same period, with a small decline of -1.4% to £296m

PC game hardware is in high demand, as sales of high-end monitors and graphics cards drove a huge 51% increase in sales to £376m - perhaps doubly impressive considering 2016's growth of +64%. This growth is also connected to the ongoing rise of virtual and mixed reality, which saw VR hardware sales increase by +23.5% to £101m, according to data provided by SuperData.

2017 UK Games Market Valuation - Hardware

Game-related toys & merchandise enjoyed a successful year, growing +6.8% to £72.9m despite a slight decline in the general toys market, according to data provided by NPD. Overall, games print media also saw a small decline, down -2.8% to £18m - however this was due to lower magazine sales last year (-6.6%, ABC data & Ukie estimates) rather than book sales, which grew 1.9% according to Nielsen, largely due to perennial interest in the Pokémon and Minecraft franchises.

Overall game movie and soundtrack revenues declined -29.9% to £17.6m in 2017, however this shift was due to the inclusion of UK box office ticket sales data from the British Film Institute for the first time, which by itself saw an much steeper drop in sales by -45.3% due to the stronger perfomrance of the Angry Birds Movie and Warcraft in 2016. For home sales, data from the Official Charts Company saw the market relatively flat, with a small increase in film sales (+4.3%) and a small decline in music revenues (-3.5%).

UK games events and venues ticket sales saw another strong year in 2017 overall, with major expos such as EGX and Insomnia, along with a growing esports scene, seeing ticket revenues grow +13.4% to £8.4m.

2017 UK Games Market Valuation - Game Culture

The 2017 UK games market consumer spend valuation details in full are as follows:

Digital & Online SuperData 1,408.3 1,597.0 +13.4%
Boxed Software GfK Entertainment 766.7 790.5 +3.1%
Mobile Games SuperData 995.1 1072.7 +7.8%
Pre-owned Kantar Worldpanel 119.0 101.1 -15.1%
GAME SOFTWARE TOTAL   3,289.2 3,561.2 +8.3%
Console Hardware GfK Entertainment 507.5 659.3 +29.9%
PC Game Hardware GfK Entertainment 249.0 376.0 +51.0%
Perhiperals & Accessories GfK Entertainment 300.1 296.1 -1.4%
VR Hardware SuperData 81.6 100.8 23.5%
GAME HARDWARE TOTAL   1,138.3 1,432.2 +25.8%
Toys & Merchandise NPD 68.3 72.9 6.8%
Books & Magazines Nielsen | ABC | Ukie 18.4 18.0 -2.3%
Movies & Soundtracks Official Charts Company | BFI 25.1 17.6 -29.9%
Events & Venues Ukie 7.5 8.5 +13.4%
GAME CULTRE TOTAL   119.3 117.0 -1.9%
OVERALL TOTAL   4,546.8 5,110.4 +12.4%