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UK game sales down 17% in 2012, digital crosses £1 billion for first time


The UK's Entertainment Retailers' Association has released its final report for 2012, and video game sales in that country are down more than 17 percent. Total entertainment sales, including music and movie sales, are down by about 12 percent. The culprit seems to be physical sales, with video game shares of that category dropping from 73 percent to 65.4 percent, and physical sales overall dropping by about 5 percent.

ERA Director General Kim Bayley actually cited the drops as a success for physical media, in that "despite digital's seemingly inexorable growth, the CD, the DVD and the physical games disc show incredible resilience." Bayley added that despite the shrinking numbers, "physical formats still account for three quarters of the entertainment market."

On the digital side, sales crossed a record of £1 billion for the first time ever. Digital video game sales rose by 7.7 percent, just slightly less than the overall growth trend in digital. For now, however, digital growth isn't enough to keep the industry at large growing. The ERA says the lack of growth was largely due to a "dearth of attractive releases" last summer, and the organization hopes to "offer the public a much better release slate in 2013."

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