UK game industry shrank 18% in 2009

ELSPA reports British Isles revenue hit $5.3 billion last year on sales of 6.7 million combined consoles, 74.6 million games.

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It has been evident all year that the gaming industry has been navigating choppy economic waters across the globe. Yesterday, Japanese stat-tracking firm Enterbrain offered one of the first accounts of full-calendar-year earnings, announcing that Nintendo and Sony's home nation saw total game-industry revenues slip 6.9 percent to ¥542.6 billion ($5.91 billion).

The Xbox 360 was the UK's top earner in 2009.
The Xbox 360 was the UK's top earner in 2009.

Today, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association reported its sales figures for the UK gaming market during the 2009 calendar year, and as with Japan, the year that was could not keep up with 2008. Citing figures provided by GfK Chart-Track, ELSPA said total industry sales, including hardware, software, and accessories, amounted to £3.311 billion ($5.3 billion) on the year, down from the £4.034 billion ($6.46 billion) brought in during 2008.

Hardware sales in the region totaled £1.06 billion ($1.7 billion) during the period, a drop that ELSPA attributed primarily to price reductions from all three console manufacturers. ELSPA did not provide specific sales figures, saying only that Nintendo's Wii outperformed the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and noting that all three combined to sell 6.7 million units. The industry body also noted that the PS3 saw the only unit-sales growth, as Sony's system sales rose 2 percent.

GfK Chart-Track's software figures for the UK in 2009 came in at £1.621 billion ($2.6 billion). The Xbox 360's software sales grew 4 percent during the year, with the platform's catalog collectively earning £459 million ($735 million) to make it the top-grossing format in the region. ELSPA reports that the PS3 saw substantial software sales growth, shifting 11.9 million units during the year--a 14 percent increase. All said, more than 74.6 million software units across platforms were sold in the UK during the year.

Lastly, UK console and PC gaming peripherals came in at £630 million ($1 billion) in 2009, with consumers snatching up 35.8 million odds and ends.

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