Game sales overtake DVDs in Britain

Game sales overtake DVDs in Britain

LONDON, March 22 (UPI) —

Computer game sales in Britain have surpassed those of DVDs and other video formats for the first time, industry figures suggest.

Sales of $3.05 billion in 2011 made the video game industry the country’s biggest entertainment sector, the Entertainment Retailers Association said.

DVDs and other video formats had sales of $2.8 billion for the year, while music sales totaled $1.7 billion.

“This is a dramatic time for the entertainment market,” Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA, told the BBC.

“It is a historic development for the games sector to have overtaken video last year,” he said. “Video has long been the biggest entertainment sector. Sales so far this year, however, suggest video is not going down without a fight.”

Game sales did take a small hit as major British retail chain Game Group went into bankruptcy, which analysts said could cause a temporary downturn in sales.

“If Game Group is significantly downsized as a chain, or if its trading continues to be limited in any way, it is likely that there will be some knock-on impact on the sales potential for the U.K. market considering its size and reach as a chain,” Piers Harding-Rolls at IHS Screen Digest said.

The effect would likely be temporary, he said.

“The United Kingdom is the most competitive retail games market in Europe — as such I don’t believe gaps in the market will be left unplugged for any length of time,” Harding-Rolls said.