UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has shared its annual report on the country’s video game market. Here are the key findings about last year’s best-selling titles and consoles, as well as total consumer spend by segments.

UK games market breakdown 2023: £4.7 billion in revenue, PS5 sales up 55%, and other data

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Key takeaways

  • According to ERA’s 2024 yearbook, total revenue from video game sales in 2023 was £4.73 billion, up 2.9% year-over-year.
  • Digital sales reached £4.24 billion, growing by 3.8% compared to 2022, while physical sales decreased by 4.4% to £495 million.
  • UK consumers spent £934 million on video game hardware, up 10.8% year-over-year.
  • The smartphone was the most popular gaming device, accounting for 35.6% of total usage. They are followed by consoles (25.8%), PC/laptops (21.8%), handheld consoles (12.5%), and tablets (7.5%).

  • When looking at game sales by segment, “Other Digital and Online” accounted for 40% of last year’s total. This includes subscription services (MMO games, PS Plus/Game Pass, etc.) and in-app purchases in free-to-play titles on web and social media platforms.
  • The second largest segment was Mobile (29%), while digital full-game sales across consoles and PC had a combined share of 20%.

UK video game market by segment (2019-2023)

  • Nintendo Switch remained the leader in terms of physical sales, despite experiencing a decline in both copies sold (6.2 million, -11.2% year-over-year) and value (£199.5 million, -10.5%).
  • PlayStation 5 came second, with 4.3 million game copies sold (+35.3% year-over-year) and £190 million in value (+23.7%).
  • Interestingly, Xbox Series X|S was behind PS4 in terms of physical game sales — 900k copies sold (+9.4%) and £43.4 million (+16.4%) vs. 2.6 million boxed games sold (-31.7%) and £47.5 million (-40%) for Sony’s previous gen hardware.

Consumer spending on boxed games (2019-2023)

  • PS5 was the best-selling console in the UK last year, selling 1.2 million units (up 55.2% year-over-year) and reaching £529 million in value (+46.2%).
  • Sales of Nintendo Switch declined last year, with 700k units sold (-16.7%) and £187.7 million in value (-17.3%). The same is true for Xbox Series X|S, which experienced a 14.2% drop in hardware sales to 600k units, and a 16.7% decline in total value to £212 million.
  • Interestingly, sales of PS4 grew 633% year-over-year to 24k units. It also generated £6.2 million in revenue (+640%).

Best-selling games of 2023 in the UK

  • EA Sports FC was the best-selling video game in the UK last year. It reached 2.39 million copies sold, with 67.2% coming from digital sales.
  • It is followed by Hogwarts Legacy (1.92 million copies), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (1.23 million copies), FIFA 23 (747.9k copies), and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (654.7k copies).

  • When only looking at physical sales, the top 5 is different. Hogwarts Legacy at #1 with 847k boxed copies sold, followed by EA Sports FC 24 (785.8k), The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (498.1k), Super Marios Bros. Wonder (429.6k), and CoD: Modern Warfare III (388k).
  • Hogwarts Legacy was also the leader in digital sales on PC, with 224.6k digital units sold on Steam last year. It is followed by Diablo IV (224.2k), CoD: MWIII (161.3k), GTA V (134.5k), and Football Manager 2024 (109.2k copies).
  • In terms of console digital sales, EA Sports FC 24 topped the charts with 1.54 million units sold. It is followed by Hogwarts Legacy (849.4k), CoD: MWIII (689.3k), FIFA 23 (426.8k), and GTA V (365.2k).

More data on the UK video games market can be found in ERA’s full report.

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