Everybody knows the video game industry has been growing quickly over the last decade, and is not intimately intertwined with major forms of mass media like movies and television shows. After all, video-game based movies are now old hat—hey, anyone remember Mario Bros. and Street Fighter?— and video game soundtracks are now seen as great ways for bands and music labels to get their tunes in front of a receptive, well-moneyed audience.
But how does the video game industry stack up to major media in terms of sales?
According the UK’s Verdict Research, sales of video games will outstrip sales of music and video products for the first time in 2008, making them the top-selling form of entertainment in the UK, at least in terms of revenue. Verdict Research forecasts that the UK games market will pull in £4.64 billion during 2008—a 42 percent increase over 2007. That’s compared to an estimated £4.46 billion for music and video sales. However, the report’s figures include sales of consoles and other gaming hardware—not just gaming titles themselves—while omitting sales of CD and DVD players.
The report notes that retail sales of music and video are not only being hit by slowing growth overall, but by consumers’ increasing willingness to shift to online music and video sources rather than purchasing in traditional brick-and-mortar shops. And while games carry a higher sticker price than CDs or DVDs, the report argues that they have a greater longevity in consumers’ households, hence providing many users with a better value for their money.