Pre-owned games sales plummet in the UK, digital sales rise over 20%

Pre-owned games sales in the UK saw a significant drop in 2018. A report looking at the entire UK games market has declared the UK lost over 30% of pre-owned games sales from 2017. The report looks at the rise of digital free-to-play games as a reason for the decline. 2018 digital sales rose over 20% in contrast to the pre-owned market.

According to the “UKIE UK Games Industry 2018 Market Valuation”, the pre-owned games market in the UK is now only worth £68 million, down from nearly £90 million the year prior. The statistics mean that pre-owned sales contributed less than a fifth of the UK games software market, which UKIE valued at £4.01 billion.

The largest contributor was “Digital & Online” at £2.01 billion; that’s almost 50% of the entire games software revenue in the UK. The rise is attributed to the emergence of battle royale games in 2018 like Fortnite and PUBG. The rest of the UK games software market is made up of mobile games and physical game sales. Mobile games rose 8.2% while physical games saw a slight decline of 2.6%.

Along with contributing to the downturn of pre-owned games sales, the increase of digital software sales has led to a rise in revenue across the UK games market as a whole. The market is now worth £5.7 billion, representing growth of 10% from 2017. The UK games hardware market played its part as well, rising 10% overall. The only sector of the hardware market which didn’t see a rise was in virtual reality. VR hardware lost ground from 2017 with a drop of 20.9%.

In other UK sales news, the UK physical retail charts for this week saw Nintendo’s Yoshi’s Crafted World snatch the top spot. The new Yoshi game reached number one by the skin of its teeth, beating The Division 2 by just 63 units.