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Consumer spend on games doubles in a decade, according to Entertainment Retailers Association

UK consumers spend more than double the amount of money they do on video games software than they did a decade ago, according to new figures published by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

UK consumer spend on games reached £4.29bn in 2021 across all categories of digital and physical game sales. 

"The UK games market is more than double the size it was 10 years ago, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% which is extraordinary by any standards," said Kim Bayley, CEO of the ERA. 

The 2021 figure, however, represents a minor reduction on the total recorded last year. Overall, consumer spend declined by 3.3% from £4.34bn in 2020 with six of the seven categories monitored -  such as digital PC and console games and all physical sales - declining against highs recorded in the pandemic.

Importantly though, the 2021 figure is noticeably higher than the total recorded pre pandemic. Overall, consumer spend in games increased by 13.9% from the £3.76bn recorded in 2019 to the figure recorded this year. This has been driven by noticeable growth in digital sales across all formats, while being offset slightly by major percentage declines in physical game sales on handheld, software and PC.

This suggests that the UK consumer games market has consolidated successfully upon its pre-pandemic growth and has room to expand further, especially as further current generation consoles go on sale and as new revenue streams - such as game subscription services - continue to generate revenue.

Read the full figures from the ERA below.





2021 versus 2020 (% growth)

 2021 versus 2019 (% growth)

Mobile / Tablet games






Other Digital






Digital console games






Physical console software






Digital PC games






Physical PC software






Physical handheld software












Source: Physical – GfK Entertainment; Digital (including digital online, mobile and tablet gaming)- Provisional estimates from Omdia.