Take notice, grandpa—videogames have officially surpassed movies as the highest grossing entertainment medium, at least in the UK.
According to the latest estimations from the Electronic Retailers Association (ERA), UK videogame sales in 2011 amounted to £1.93 billion, while DVD, Blu-ray and other formats of video sales came to £1.8 billion. For those interested, music sales finished well behind both of these industries, only raking in £1.07 billion (and I use the word “only” lightly there).
The released figures note that, while physical copies of games sold less in 2011, the number of games sold through digital downloads and apps helped push videogames to the top for the year.
Kim Bayley, general director of the ERA, noted the significance of the moment: “This is a dramatic time for the entertainment market. It is an historic development for the games sector to have overtaken video last year. Video has long been the biggest entertainment sector.”
However, Bayley does goes on to mention that “video is not going down without a fight.” She has a point, as the first 11 weeks of 2012 have seen DVD and Blu-ray sales double that of games. Of course, this may be in large part due to the generally seasonal habits of videogame sales—typically, the highest profile, and subsequently highest grossing, games are released later in the year, around the time of the holiday season. This year has been especially light on high profile releases, with Mass Effect 3 and Final Fantasy XIII-2 perhaps being the only two games to come from major franchises so far.
2011 saw total revenue for the entertainment sector drop to £4.8 billion, a 3.3 percent decrease, despite games accounting for 40 percent of the market as a whole.