18th Jan 2001
BRITSOFT CONTINUES TO GROW
New figures released today by The European Leisure Software
Publishers Association (ELSPA) and ChartTrack will bring a smile to
the faces of games company executives and also to consumer groups.
UK sales of video games and other leisure software products reached
an all time high in year 2000 with over 39.5 million units sold -
16% up on the previous year and 32% up on 1998 sales.
In terms of value, the total leisure software market in year 2000
was worth over £934 million, a 2% increase on the previous year,
highlighting the falling retail price of products – good news for
The console market performed particularly well with unit sales of
software up 23% (sales revenues up 6%) on last year. The home
computer market fared less well, showing a 6% increase in units sold,
whilst falling 6% in value against 1999 figures.
According to ChartTrack, in 1998, the average price of a PC CD game
was £24.03; in 2000 the same products cost an average of £20.08. An
even bigger price drop has taken place in the console market: in
1998, PlayStation titles cost an average of £32.58, by 2000, the
average price was £22.30.
A noteable success area for year 2000 was in software developed for
the Gameboy market. Over 2.5 million units of software were sold
specifically for Gameboy Colour machines (up a massive 160% on 1999
figures) with the value of sales reaching just short of £50 million
(up 123% on 1999) – the fuel for this meteoric increase being
Another revelation from ChartTrack is the amount of software already
sold for the Sony PS2. In the period from the launch of the new
console on 24th November 2000 to the end of the year, almost £18
million was spent on 433,000 units of PS2 software for the new
console at an average price of £41.58 per unit.
Commenting on these figures, Michael Rawlinson, General Manager of
“The ChartTrack figures confirm the year-on-year growth of the
leisure software market in this country, confounding some City
analysts who forecast that year 2000 would see a downturn in
business as consumers awaited the PS2. The peaks and troughs that
used to be associated with the introduction of new games hardware
are well and truly behind us. This year should be another great one
as we see sales of PS2 hardware and software really take off and the
first entry of Microsoft into the lucrative console market”.
Year 2000 was also the first full 12 month period of ELSPA’s new
Volume Sales Awards. In this period, 7 titles achieved Platinum
awards for sales of over 300,000 units, including Gran Turismo;
Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow; James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies; Who
Wants To Be A Millionaire and WWF Smackdown2.
According to ELSPA, the UK leisure software market is the third
largest country market in the world, after USA and Japan. In the UK,
consumers now spend more on leisure software than on renting videos
or cinema visits. In terms of exports, the picture is also rosy,
with the value of UK exports of leisure software products exceeding
both British film and TV.