The Entertainment Retailers Association has published its full report for 2012, and it states that the UK games market fell 17.4% overall during 2012.
During the year, the UK games market amassed £1.6 billion compared to £1.9 billion during 2011 for digital and physical combined.
Physical game sales which accounted for 65.4% of the market fell 26.4% to £1.05 billion, down from 73.5% the year prior. Digital sales – as previously reported – grew, but only by 7.7% to £552.2 million and not enough to bolster lagging industry sales.
“The combination of a myriad of exciting new devices and compelling new digital retailing services is clearly exciting consumers,” said ERA director general Kim Bayley. “What is most striking is that these figures do not even include the impact of streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, We7 and Rdio, for whom full market value data is not yet available.
“The dearth of attractive releases during summer 2012 was clearly a significant factor. Suppliers need to do more to rebalance their release schedules and improve the quality of their releases. No retailer can afford to pay overheads on a store for 52 weeks of the year if all the key releases are going to be concentrated in the last quarter.
“And entrepreneurs will think twice about investing in new digital services if releases fail to excite the public. Luckily the message appears to be getting through and we look forward to being able to offer the public a much better release slate in 2013.”
The ERA stated that physical accounted for 75.5% of total entertainment market sales in all sectors – music, games, DVDs – compared to 80.6% in 2011.