UK games market worth a record £4.33bn in 2016

Ukie’s annual UK market valuation increases 1.2% from 2015

The UK mobile games market is worth nearly £1bn

VR hardware included for the first time, worth £61m

Record-breaking results seen for digital and online, mobile games, PC game hardware, toys and    merchandise, books and magazines, movies and soundtracks, and game events and venues

At its annual Games Industry Market Valuation Breakfast event this morning, games trade body Ukie revealed the value of UK consumer games market reached a record £4.33bn in 2016, up +1.2% from 2015 figures.

The result shows positive growth for the games and interactive entertainment economy, including an +11.1% increase in digital console and PC games sales and an impressive +16.9% rise in UK mobile games revenue - now worth £995m. Overall, software sales in the UK exceeded £3bn for the first time.

The consumer release of the first VR headsets has helped fuel the growth of the sector though the sales of VR hardware, included in the market valuation for the first time and valued at £61.3m. The impact of VR was also seen in the sale of top-end graphics cards, driving a huge increase in PC game hardware of +64% to £258m.  

As the current generation of the console cycle matures, there was an expected reduction in sales of new hardware, down to £507.5m.

UK games events have also seen a strong increase, up +20.6% from 2015, fuelled by a growing esports scene in the UK and consumers engaging more with the industry at UK-wide games shows such as popular Insomnia and upcoming EGX Rezzed.

The successes of both Pokémon GO and Minecraft were factors in increases for both categories for game-related toys and merchandise, and books and magazines. Toys and merchandise sales increased by +7.2% to £66.8m, with books and magazines increasing +13% to £18.4m.

The annual breakfast briefing was attended by industry, media and analysts, and featured lively panel discussions from industry leaders about the state of the UK industry and expected trends in the coming year.

Data was collated to build the total Market Valuation using trusted industry data sources including Superdata, GfK, Kantar Worldpanel, Neilsen, NPD, ABC, The Official Charts Company and Ukie.

SEGMENT DATA SOURCE 2015 (£m) 2016 (£m) % GROWTH
Digital & online SuperData 1,101.4 1,223.5 +11.1%
Boxed Software GfK Entertainment 903.9 766.7 -15.2%
Mobile revenues SuperData 851.1 995.1 +16.9%
Pre-owned Kantar Worldpanel 123.0 119.0 -3.3%
SOFTWARE TOTAL   2,979.4 3,104.3 +4.2%
Console hardware GfK Entertainment 692.6 507.5 -26.7%
PC game hardware GfK Entertainment 157.0 258.0 +64.3%
Perhiperals & accessories GfK Entertainment 359.8 300.2 -16.6%
VR hardware SuperData - 61.3 -
HARDWARE TOTAL   1,209.4 1,126.9 -6.8%
Toys & merchandise NPD 62.3 66.8 +7.2%
Books & magazines Nielsen | ABC | Ukie 16.3 18.4 +13.2%
Movies & soundtracks Official Charts Company 6.9 7.8 +14.4%
Events & venues Ukie 6.2 7.5 +20.6
OTHERS TOTAL   91.7 100.6 +9.7%
TOTAL   4,280.4 4,331.8 +1.2%

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said, “Our sector is constantly innovating and investing in new experiences, technologies and talent, resulting in the strong and resilient games industry shown in this £4.33bn market valuation. It has been an excellent year for the industry, including the release of first commercially available VR headsets, an exciting year for our national esports scene, and the explosion of the UK mobile market, which is now worth nearly £1bn alone.

These statistics will go a long way to reinforcing the message that the UK continues to be a world leading games market, remaining strong in the face of an uncertain political climate. Ukie will continue to use these stats to promote the strength of our sector nationally and worldwide to investors, the media, policy makers and more, to prove that the UK is the best place to make and sell games.

The next year will be a big year of change, but we look forward to seeing the market remain resilient and robust and a leading creative economy in the UK.”

Read the full market breakdown here.





For all press enquiries, please contact Sophie Densham or @ukiesophie

About UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie)

Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment) is the only trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry. A not-for-profit, it represents businesses of all sizes from small start-ups to large multinational developers, publishers and service companies, working across online, mobile apps, consoles, PC, eSports, VR and AR.

Ukie aims to support, grow and promote member businesses and the wider UK games and interactive entertainment industry by optimising the economic, cultural, political and social environment needed for businesses to thrive.

Ukie works closely with the sector to influence government and decision makers, lobbying successfully for the 2014 Video Games Tax Relief, the UK Games Fund, and the Next Gen Skills campaign which resulted in a new Computer Science Curriculum. Ukie makes connections for businesses and help them access the opportunities a digital economy offers, via a successful International Trade programme, running UK Games Industry stands at the biggest international industry events.

It promotes the industry by working with the media to raise awareness of the sector’s positive cultural and economic contribution, as well as the societal benefits of games. Ukie runs, where families can learn about safe and sensible online practices, parental controls and age ratings.

Ukie’s skills work serves to increase inclusion and diversity, advocating a STEAM approach to education. Initiatives include the Digital Schoolhouse (DSH), Video Games Ambassadors (VGAs), a Student Membership scheme, and a professional development programme

Ukie commissioned the Blueprint for Growth report in 2015, an independent review of the UK games industry with recommendations for decision makers in Parliament for how the industry can grow.

In 2016 Ukie partnered with Film London to deliver Games London, a ground breaking new three-year programme to promote the UK as the games capital of the world, the focal point of which is the annual London Games Festival.

Twitter: @uk_ie
Facebook: Ukie