New statistics from The Entertainment Retailers Association have revealed a variety of staggering facts concerning UK gaming in 2018, perhaps most notably confirming that 80.1% of revenue was made through digital sales.
The study compares information across video games, film, and music in the UK, with gaming now seeing a larger proportion of revenue from digital sales than both other areas; digital film sales (which include streaming services like Netflix) make up 72.3% of that industry, with 71.3% of music revenue coming from digital sources). Interestingly, games reportedly accounted for more than half of the entire UK entertainment market at 51.3%, making it a larger source of revenue than film and music combined.
Digital game sales are estimated to have generated £3.094bn in revenue in the UK last year, rising 12% from 2017. When coupled with the £769.9m generated from physical sales, this means that almost £4bn was made in 2018 - £3,863,900,000 to be exact.
On top of this, a list of the top twenty best-selling physical UK games has been shared. This list is made up of console games sold throughout 2018, only taking into account physical sales. Sales have been included in brackets.
1) FIFA 19 - Electronic Arts (1,889,401)
2) Red Dead Redemption 2 - Take 2 (1,757,212)
3) Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 - Activision Blizzard (1,172,855)
4) Marvel's Spider-Man - Sony Computer Ent. (676,621)
5) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Nintendo (458,675)
6) Far Cry 5 - Ubisoft (434,133)
7) Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy - Activision Blizzard (430,551)
8) God Of War - Sony Computer Ent. (399,395)
9) Forza Horizon 4 - Microsoft (392,960)
10) FIFA 18 - Electronic Arts (351,788)
11) Grand Theft Auto V - Take 2 (339,805)
12) Spyro Reignited Trilogy - Activision Blizzard (333,725)
13) Battlefield V - Electronic Arts (313,100)
14) Assassin's Creed Odyssey - Ubisoft (305,937)
15) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Nintendo (284,155)
16) Super Mario Odyssey - Nintendo (240,710)
17) Call Of Duty: WWII - Activision Blizzard (230,576)
18) Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! - Nintendo (227,767)
19) Shadow Of The Tomb Raider - Square Enix / Microsoft (226,125)
20) Fallout 76 - Bethesda Softworks (218,534)
It's certainly an interesting set of figures, and a telling sign that digital sales are becoming ever more popular. One final interesting note from the study, however, shows that the largest game releases still rely on physical sales rather heavily - around 75% of FIFA 19's 2.5m total sales were physical.
Any surprises here? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.