There’s a lot of stuff we like over here in Blighty: Football related thuggery, laughing at Europeans, crap food; it’s an endless list and I’ve really just mentioned the highlights. But you know what we don’t like? Boxes. To show our disdain for these plastic and cardboard prisons we’re buying less and less physical media than ever before, even hardware sales are down.
Of course, this is something that’s happening everywhere, not just in the UK. According to figures released by UKIE (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment) sales of consoles, accessories and boxed games were down by another 13 percent in 2011. That’s still £2.520 billion in sales, though. 51 percent of annual sales came from the busy fourth quarter, with grim men making foreigners explode and grim men, women, elves, orcs and a whole bunch of other creatures making dragons explode.
The drop was expected, it’s hardly like this is the first year it’s happened, but it was actually less severe than anticipated. There was growth from the Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS and total software sales of £1.2 billion. With overall consumer spending down, the industry didn’t fare too badly according to UKIE. It’s worth noting that UKIE does not include DLC, mobile games or second hand games and considering the importance of all three of those things in the industry today, the results could be very different if they were included.
Total UK boxed game sales down 13% in 2011 [gamesindustry.biz]