Archives by Day

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


UK Computer Games Software Explosion Continues

by Rainier on April 22, 2002 @ 4:13 p.m. PDT

Predictions of a continued upward trend in the popularity of leisure software, highlighted at the beginning of the year by The European Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), are still on track. New figures published today by ELSPA, sourced from Chart Track, show a continuing increase in sales of computer games in the UK with 11 million units of software sold in the first quarter of 2002. This is a 6 per cent rise on the same period last year. The value of games sold, across all formats, rose by 20% from £219 million in the first quarter of 2001 to £262 million in the first quarter of this year.

According to ELSPA, the market is being fuelled by three key factors: the new breed of consoles, launches of hugely popular "blockbuster" games and the ever widening appeal of video games and leisure software to a more diverse audience. In the first quarter of this year, the market was boosted by the launch of Microsoft's Xbox, software sales for which are already valued at close to £9 million - and it was only launched in the UK on 14 March. Sales of PS2 software reached £105 million this quarter, three and a half times what they were in the first quarter of 2001. Gameboy Advance has sold 2.2 million units of software since the second quarter of 2001. PC software sales are also on the increase with unit sales up 7% from 3.9 million in quarter one 2001 to 4.2 million in 2002.

The fastest selling game launched in this period was the long awaited sequel from Konami, Metal Gear Solid 2, which took only three weeks, after its launch on 9 March, to achieve an ELSPA Gold Sales Award for sales of over 200,000 units. Max Payne, published by Take 2, which launched in early January, achieved ELSPA's Silver Sales Award of 100,000 units, in just six weeks. Grand Theft Auto, published by Take 2, achieved ELSPA's Platinum Award for 300,000 units just before Christmas and continued to sell strongly throughout the first quarter, remaining in the top five in the all format charts. Other games that achieved ELSPA's Gold Sales Awards during the first quarter of the year include Worms Armageddon by Team 17/Infogrames; 007: Agent Under Fire by EA Games; WWF Smackdown! Just Bring It by THQ; London Racer by Davilex; Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 4 by Kemco. Pokemon Gold by Nintendo achieved ELSPA's Platinum sales award for selling over 300,000 copies.

Roger Bennett, Director General of ELSPA, commented:
"The UK continues to excel in the leisure software industry, demonstrating the innovative nature of the nation's developers and publishers. We are also witnessing a change in consumer perceptions of playing computer games. The age range of gamers continues to stretch - 56% of gamers are in the 25 to 44 year old bracket and there are now increasing numbers of female gamers. One of the main reasons the industry has been able to attract different people to gaming is the wide diversity of leisure software available. From traditional driving and action games to dancing games, quizzes, educational software for young children and hobby software for their parents and even grandparents."

The UK is the third largest market for leisure software in the world and a recent report (Mediaphile 2010) by media analysts, Screen Digest, confirms that playing computer games is actually one of the cheapest forms of entertainment, costing only 60 pence per hour. This is less than using a mobile phone, going to the cinema, reading newspapers or books or magazines, and less than listening to music.

Roger Bennett adds:
"More people of all ages are beginning to realise that playing computer games is fun, relaxing, educational and now the research proves it's very cost effective."

The upward sales trend is expected to continue. In Quarter 2, the market will be boosted again by the launch of Nintendo's new GameCube console, which launches on 3 May 2002.

blog comments powered by Disqus