A couple of years ago I remember reading some news that sales within the games industry had declined around 25%, following those poor figures there was more bad news last year that sales had declined roughly a further 20%.
You might be forgiven for thinking that surely it isn’t possible for things to get any worse? Well, they have. MCV have analysed data from Chart-Track and are reporting that sales in the UK for the the first 26 weeks of the year of software, hardware and accessories was £963m a drop of £180m on the same period last year. Software (games) sales generated £533m, a year-on-year decline of 10 per cent while hardware sales were down 32 per cent at £256m.
Declining sales are never a good thing, but when an industry is reporting declines on declines of declines, it’s pretty dreadful news for all concerned. We’ve already seen a number of studios close down and job losses throughout the industry in development studios, publishers and retailers and a further shrinking of market will further put jobs at risk.
Speaking to MCV, the ELSA director general Mike Rawlinson said: “UK consumers are also getting their gaming entertainment in a variety ways. They are increasingly downloading video games from websites, and are playing games on their mobiles or through social networking sites – not only on consoles. This is proof that interactive entertainment is expanding way beyond its traditional boundaries.”
It will come as no surprise to anyone with an ounce of business knowledge that these declines cannot go on indefinitely, and they are surely the reason that developers and publishers are looking for other revenue streams like the single use codes found in a variety of games to wanting a slice of the pre-owned market.