2011 was a challenging year for the boxed product video games market in the UK, with annual sales figures of £1.42bn (entertainment software, pc & console games), down 7% over 2010. However, thanks to a strong quarter four the boxed product market was actually slightly ahead of earlier forecasts for a year where consumer spending on leisure activities and leisure goods has been put to the test.
Of the ten best-selling games of 2011 eight were released at the start of or during the key quarter four sales period, meaning that a record 51% of annual revenue was generated in this period. The No1 best-seller for 2011 was Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which broke previous records on release by generating £83m in week 45 and 2m units in 5 days.
Total sales of console video game software amounted to £1.35bn, with growth coming from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the introduction of Nintendo’s 3DS hand-held. The total revenue for console hardware sales amounted to £646m.
The total value of console/PC gaming accessories was £453m in 2011, a drop of 17%, with total sales reaching 22.4m million units, down 13%. Motion Controller Devices accounted for around 11% of all console gaming accessories (units) in 2011 and a massive 27% by revenue. Traditional console gaming accessories such as joypads, steering wheels, headsets, cases and chargers/docks (excluding motion controller and online time/points cards) revealed a tough time for manufacturers, with overall decline at -23% units / – 27% revenue.
2011 was a good year for motion control software using Microsoft’s Kinect, Sony’s Playstation Move and Nintendo’s MotionPlus devices. The total motion-enabled software share across these three formats rose from just 6.7% in 2010 to 14.5% in 2011. The top-selling motion controlled software titles across these 3 formats in 2011 were Just Dance 3 for Wii, LittleBigPlanet 2 for PS3 and Forza Motorsport 4 for Xbox 360.
Overall, the total gross generated in the UK during the 52 weeks of 2011 from the sale of all entertainment software, console hardware and console/pc gaming accessories, was £2.520 billion, an overall drop of 13%. This equated to 82.0 million units sold all-told in the UK.
Andy Payne, UKIE Chairman, said: “In a year when overall consumer spending was down, 2011 proved to be a better than expected year for the UK’s boxed-product games market. Helped by the launch of many top quality titles, particularly in quarter four, total software sales of £1.42bn was better than many predicted.”
“2011 still saw some remarkable achievements, including the release of Activision Blizzard’s ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’, which exploded into UKIE Games Charts in week 45, 2011 generating £83m and 2m units in the UK over the first 5 days. And of course there was the launch of Nintendo’s 3DS hand-held, giving developers and publishers the chance of finding new and innovative ways to engage audiences.”
“The industry looks forward to the continued popularity of cloud, mobile and casual platforms in 2012. And we’re also looking forward to the launch of Sony’s new Vita hand-held and the possible UK launch of Nintendo’s Wii U, both of which have the potential to re-ignite the console market, prior to any announcements concerning successors to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PS3.”