UK game sales hit record high in Q1

British gamers buy up in bulk, with a record £418.4 million worth of leisure software shipped.

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UK gamers are voting with their wallets like never before, with sales at record highs following record periods in 2007 and previous years. According to data released today by the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) and compiled by Chart-Track, the UK games industry racked up a total of £418.4 million ($828.9 million) in software sales in the first quarter of 2008.

It appears that Nintendo is the real winner of the increased sales, scooping up 37 percent of all unit sales thanks to the success of its Wii and DS offerings, which took the top two spots. The PC was the third most popular platform for game sales, followed by Microsoft's Xbox 360. The report also shows Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games to be the most popular game in the first quarter.

ELSPA's director general, Paul Jackson, used the release of the figures as an opportunity to petition the government for increased industry support. "The UK continues to blaze a trail in terms of creativity yet over the last few years it is becoming apparent that some talent is being lured away by more attractive prospects overseas," he said in a statement today. "As it stands, the UK is already down to fourth place from third as the world's creative centre for games. It is time the Government recognised the massive financial contribution we make to the UK economy, especially when compared to the film, TV and music industries."

As previously reported on GameSpot, the UK games industry employs approximately 25,000 people and contributes £2 billion ($3.96 billion) per year to the country's economy.

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