Games Outsell Movies In 2008, Sales Rise 20% To $32 Billion
We've all known for a while that video games and movies have been going in two very different directions, and the recent 2008 sales statistics prove that one industry is most certainly on the upswing while the other...well...
According to GamesIndustry.biz, retail sales of video games topped those of DVD and Blu-Ray for the very first time in 2008, and overall sales of "packaged media" rose 6% worldwide to hit a grand total of $61 billion. These numbers come courtesy of Media Control GfK International, and for our industry, they're encouraging: game sales grew 20% last year to $32 billion, and in stark contrast, the combined sales of DVD and Blu-Ray fell 6%, to $29 billion. GfK takes the next step and expects games "to represent 57% of packaged media sales" over the next year, which would be up from 53% in 2008 and 47% in 2007. Overall sales are expected to rise 12% to $36 billion this year, and this growth stands out against the decline of DVD and Blu-Ray sales, which are expected to fall another 4% in 2009. However, we would like to point out that the majority of this "falling" is done on the DVD side; Blu-Ray sales are up, and are expected to double to more than $2.9 billion this year. It's just that the overall sales and declining interest in Hollywood are causing the overall number to fall.
For the record, despite the 20% game growth, this is still a little under GfK's initial prediction, which was 22%. Not surprisingly, GfK U.S. president Amy Heller attributes this to the lagging economy, but with so many suffering industries right now, a 20% growth report really won't disappoint anyone.
1/26/2009 Ben Dutka