The UK video games market hit a new record of $9.2 billion last year as the pandemic continued to fuel an unprecedented boom in home entertainment, with gamers rushing to stock up on new consoles and virtual reality kit even as overall sales of games fell. The amount spent by gaming fans – on everything from new consoles, software and mobile games, to themed events, toys and magazines – rose 1.9% year-on-year beating expectations that the market would slide following the gaming gold rush at the height of the pandemic in 2020. The overall market rose despite a 6.3% drop in video game sales.
“The important story here is how much of the lockdown related boost seen in 2020 has been successfully retained during 2021’s ‘year of correction,’” said Steven Bailey, a senior analyst at Omdia.
The growth in the market last year was underpinned by continued strong demand from gamers for new consoles, the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and more recently the Nintendo Switch OLED edition, which grew by a third to $1.4 billion.
There was also significant growth in virtual reality hardware, such as headsets, with sales up 42% to $239 million as gamers increasingly embrace new technologies.
Revenue from mobile games maintained its pandemic lockdown level remaining flat at $1.9 billion while licensed toys and merchandise grew 34% to $207 million, largely thanks to the popularity of Pokemon.
(All information was provided by The Guardian)