The UK physical games market experienced a 2.8 percent decline in revenue year-on-year in 2018 as its digital market grew. However, retail sales generated £770 million despite several AAA titles underperforming. Thanks to GfK and UKIE (via Games Industry), we now have last year’s data for UK’s boxed games market, and it’s good news for Sony and PlayStation.
48 percent of all boxed games sold in the UK in 2018 were for the PS4. Xbox One game sales accounted for 30.2 percent of the physical market share, followed by Nintendo Switch with 16.8 percent.
Sony Interactive Entertainment also enjoyed a successful year as a publisher. The company increased its market share to 9.6 percent (a 1.7 percent increase from 2017), knocking out Ubisoft from the top five. This success was driven by robust sales of God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man. Despite being a PS4 exclusive, the Insomniac Games title sold 676,621 units alone, making it UK retail’s fourth best-selling game of 2018.
Unsurprisingly, Electronic Arts retained its position as UK’s top publisher, thanks to the popularity of FIFA. However, FIFA 19 and Battlefield V retail sales were lower than their respective predecessors’, causing EA’s boxed market share to fall to 14.7 percent from 17 percent in 2017.
Activision Blizzard found itself in a similar scenario. Despite having four of its titles in the top 20 (including Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy), the publisher saw its physical market share drop by four percent as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s boxed sales were lower than WWII‘s.
Elsewhere, Take-Two Interactive continued to benefit from the ongoing success of Grand Theft Auto V alongside Red Dead Redemption 2‘s strong launch. Bethesda had a disappointing year overall, owing to the poor reception of Fallout 76.
[Source: Games Industry]