According to the Digital Entertainment and Retail Association (ERA), digital video game sales account for nine out of 10 video game sales in the UK. It is important to note that this includes mobile games, PC games as well as console gaming, it is unlikely that digital downloads make up such a large proportion if console gaming is taken alone.
Specifically, ERA found that 89.5% of games sold were sold as digital downloads and the other 10.5% were physical sales. Apparently, 30% of sales were mobile app sales which shows its growing importance in the gaming sector. Many people have smartphones than consoles so it’s easier to start games on mobile.
Era’s chief executive, Kim Bailey, said that while growth in gaming was slower than video and music last year, the sector actually led the entertainment market. Bailey described gaming as an “often unregulated leader” in the entertainment market.
A notable aspect of the data presented by ERA is that many of the figures about digital downloads are just estimates. Bayley said that in the past when sales were physical, it was easier to track sales. Now, it’s more difficult because digital stores like Valve’s Steam aren’t required to release their sales figures. To estimate game sales, ERA uses data from a market research company called Omdia whose data was described as an “industry benchmark”.
With the introduction of the latest Xbox consoles, Microsoft decided to release the Xbox Series S which does not include a disc tray. It’s unclear whether Microsoft anticipated lower physical sales, or whether it increased digital sales more as a result.
Source: BBC News