U.K. Game Industry Enjoys ‘Staggering’ Growth in 2007

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According to ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) and Chart-Track, which officially released the annual video game data for the U.K. today, the industry across the pond hit an all-time high in 2007.

ELSPA said it was an “unprecedented” year as there was a 16 percent increase in units sold for a total of 75.9 million units, and record sales of interactive entertainment software across all formats totaled £1.72 billion ($3.37 billion), representing an increase of more than 26 percent over the record numbers of 2006.

The portable market played a big part in the growth of the U.K. industry, as 2007 was the biggest year ever for handheld systems. The Nintendo DS in particular was number one in terms of software units sold, while Sony’s PSP ranked fifth and sixth in units and value, respectively. “The entire console hand-held sector broke previous records and claimed nearly a third of the entire software units market, up 45% and just over one-quarter of the entire software market by value, up by 28%,” ELSPA noted.

In terms of value, the Xbox 360 was tops, followed by PS2 (down from top spot in 2006), then Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PS3. Looking at the systems in terms of units sold, however, the order changes to PS2 (but #2 overall behind DS, the first time it has not been the biggest format since 2003), followed by Xbox 360, Wii and PS3.

The top 10 games in the U.K. were as follows:

1. FIFA 08 (EA Sports)
2. Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training (Nintendo)
3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision)
4. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 (Konami)
5. More Brain Training from Dr Kawashima (Nintendo)
6. Halo 3 (Microsoft)
7. The Simpsons Game (EA Games)
8. Wii Play (Nintendo)
9. Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)
10. WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2008 (THQ)

Paul Jackson, Director General of ELSPA, commented, “We are thrilled to see the industry growing and software sales continuing to rise. This is a real testament to the industry, the creativity and the talent we have in the U.K. There is, however, a chance to forget many of the problems the U.K. development sector faces with the pressure from the threat of international competition. We need to ensure that the U.K. creativity is able to continue to flourish and feed this demand, these figures should act as a reminder to us of the scale of our amazing industry and how we need to continue to work towards a healthier situation for one of the U.K. most lucrative creative industries.”

Written by James Brightman from GameDaily
© 2008 GameDaily

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