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Nov 5, 2008

Gaming to be UK's biggest money earner in 2008

Games are just for kids, eh? £4.64bn says they're not

Psst. Don't tell anyone this. For God's sake don't let the Daily Mail catch wind of it. Games are getting quite popular indeed.

Yep, those flashing, bleeping, murder-simulating, mind-rotting games are actually so popular now that this year, revenue from games software and hardware sales is expected to overtake sales of music and video combined.

A report from analysts at Verdict Research predicts a rise of a whopping 42% since 2007. That will of course be being helped along by the utter deluge of superb games in the past 12 months alone. And it's not just the soulless regurgitation of the latest FIFA either - there have been new IPs springing out of the wood-work too.

We all know that belts are being tightened in the face of global economic meltdown, so surely music and video must be having a really hard time? Well, bricks and mortar retail sales of music and video is stagnating fast, but the research reveals that spending is increasingly being taken online.

Peculiarly, it isn't digital downloads that are capturing the market. These still account for only 4% of sales. It's the physical formats that are selling faster online.

In fairness, Verdict Research did overcook the results a little bit. Comparing games software AND hardware sales is cheating if you're not going to include the sales of MP3, CD and DVD players as well.

So the truth is that video games aren't completely outstripping video and music, but you can be sure that by the end of the year, no one will have any doubt that gaming is not some childish fad, but a proper creative media in its own right. Unfortunately that will make it decidedly less edgy and anarchic. Dang, now we need a new hobby to champion.

Source: BBC
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