Digital gaming is continuing to take a monster share of gaming markets worldwide. In the United Kingdom, digital games now command up to 80 percent of the market share. There is a caveat to that impressive number, however.
According to the Entertainment Retailers Association (via Gameindustry.biz), game sales in the UK generated 3.864 billion pounds last year. Digital sales accounted for £3 billion of that revenue, which represents around 80.1 percent.
The reports of physical software’s demise are greatly exaggerated, however. For example, AAA games like FIFA 19, which was the best-selling game of the year according to ERA, commanded way bigger physical sales (75 percent) than digital (25 percent). Still, that is an increase from last year, where FIFA 18’s sales were 20 percent digital.
FIFA sales were not as impressive as last year’s title, though. FIFA 19 sold 2.5 million units overall, which is down from FIFA 18’s 2.7 million units.
Despite not doing as well as last year’s FIFA game, FIFA 19 was the best-selling physical game of 2018, selling 1.89 million physical units, with Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe rounding out the top five.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has a most impressive record this year, as it sold 458,675 physical units, up significantly from 2017’s 341,531 units. That can be attributed to the Switch’s strong sales in the region.
Physical software sales overall this year were down 2.8 percent from 2017. The PlayStation 4 sold the most software in 2018, moving 42.2 percent of all games sold in 2018. The Xbox One followed in second place, taking 30.5 percent of the market.
The Nintendo Switch trailed in third with 24 percent. However, it is the only console this year that increased it’s own software sales from 2017, with a 90.1 percent increase. PS4 game sales dropped 9.7 percent, while Xbox One sales fell 12.7 percent.
All in all, video game sales in the UK have more than doubled in value since 2007, primarily thanks to digital downloads.