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2011 marks third year of sales decline for UK retail games market

2011 marks third year of sales decline for UK retail games market

January 5, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment said total retail video game product sales in the UK hit £2.52 billion ($3.9 billion) in 2011, a figure which beat the group's estimates, but still puts the market down 13 percent year-over-year.

In 2010, the industry pulled in £2.9 billion ($4.48 billion), which was 13 percent down from 2009's £3.3 billion ($5.1 billion). The last year the market saw growth was in 2008, when revenues hit £4 billion (6.1 billion).

Broken down, total 2011 sales of console video game software hit £1.42 billion, ($2.2 billion), while revenue from video game hardware reached £646 million ($1 billion). Revenue from video game accessories was £453 million ($701 million).

With PC games excluded, retail console sales brought in £1.35 billion ($2.1 billion).

According to UKIE, eight of the year's top 10 retail games debuted in the all-important fourth quarter, with a record 51 percent of annual revenue generated during this period. The top selling game overall was Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which broke sales records by selling 2 million units in five days.

UKIE also reported that sales for motion control-enabled software for the Kinect, PlayStation Move, and Wii saw a healthy bump in 2011, making up 14.5 percent of software sales, up from just 6.7 percent in 2010. Popular titles in this category include Ubisoft's Just Dance 3, and traditional console games like LittleBigPlanet 2 and Forza Motorsport 4, both of which feature optional motion control features.

The Japanese video game retail industry declined in 2011 as well, down eight percent. Data for the United States video game retail market will be available next week courtesy of The NPD Group.

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