The headline news is that the profitability of games has grown again, being worth £7.16Bn in 2021, growing by 1.9%, and in the process breaking the previous record set in 2000.
This is interesting news because it was not at all apparent that the boost the games industry saw in 2020 when people turned to games during the Covid-19 pandemic would carry over to the next year. Now we know that the sales did carry over, but in different areas.
The big shift in sales was through hardware; probably down to the PS5 and Xbox Series, which launched in November 2020, and the ever popular Nintendo Switch.
However software sales did not do as well, with digital sales falling by 5.59%, boxed sales falling by 20.9% and secondhand sales falling by 20.8%. Even digital sales on PC fell by 7.02%.
The Ukie put the drop in software sales down to delays in big titles like God of War Ragnarok, and while they’re probably right, the unfortunate fact about this drop is that publishers will likely take the disparity between digital and boxed sales as more evidence that the pursuit of digital only titles, and their erosion of physical games, is the right way to go.