UK games market breakdown 2023: £4.7 billion in revenue, PS5 sales up 55%, EA Sports FC 24 and Hogwarts Legacy dominate charts

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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