UK Physical Video Game Sales Dropped in 2019

Last year the UK’s video game industry saw a major decrease in physical sales.

According to reports from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), sales dropped by 19.68%, the largest since 2012. The reports also showed that roughly 17.6 million physical games were sold last year, which is nearly 20% less than as many that were sold in 2018.

The only games that managed to sell over a million units were FIFA 20 which sold £1.5 million and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare which sold a respective £1.192 million. No other game sold over a million units last year. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came in third place with 465,062 units sold, which is quite a massive difference in numbers compared to the top two.

The highest selling physical video games within the UK in 2019

These numbers should not come as too much of a surprise because 2019 was a considerably poor year for major releases. Besides the yearly editions of FIFA and Call of Duty, the only other major releases were Days Gone, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Far Cry New Dawn.

Interestingly, out of the 10 best-selling physical games from last year, only six of them were released during that year, whilst the other four were from previous years. This includes Red Dead Redemption 2 which was released in 2018. Despite this it still managed to be the fifth highest selling video game of last year within the UK as it sold 306,292 units.

But another reason as to why there may have been a major decline in physical sales was because last year was the final year before both Microsoft and Sony both released their new consoles – the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. Both consoles are set to be released this winter. Perhaps gaming fans are more eager to wait until these new consoles get released as they are both slated to be getting 8K technology built into them. Therefore, making them the most advanced consoles to date.

Many fans possibly did not see much point in spending a lot of money on video games last year when they knew that brand new and much more advanced consoles were getting released on the following year.


Sales within digital games also slowed down last year too, as further reports from the ERA showed that their sales growth only reached 1.1%, their lowest since 2012 too.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said: “The key message from the games business in 2019 is we need those two new consoles from PlayStation and Xbox, and soon.”

Leave a Comment