Worryingly, the PlayStation 4 was the only home console to see sales of physical software in the UK increase year-over-year in 2016. The Nintendo 3DS also built upon its previous year's tally, but every other platform shrunk. That's resulted in a 13.4 per cent decline in game sales compared to 2015 in Britain, with the sector already on a downward trend as it is.

While it's worth remembering that this data doesn't take into account digital sales, it's still a frightening statistic, with the volume of physical software shifted less than a third of what was racked up in 2008. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was the bestselling game of the year, but it sold 31.5 per cent less than Black Ops III managed during the same period in 2016.

In fact, all of the major publishers struggled – despite heavy discounting. Bethesda's Dishonored 2, for example, couldn't come close to matching the success of Fallout 4, while Square Enix's Final Fantasy XV somehow failed to outsell Just Cause 3. Meanwhile, Ubisoft's duo of Watch Dogs 2 and Steep struggled to match the numbers of Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Rainbow Six: Siege.

It's all a bit scary, and when you factor in the plummeting sales of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, it's clear that it's not been a particularly good year commercially for the games industry – unless significant digital sales are making up the deficit. Either way, it'll be interesting to see whether the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Scorpio, and Sony's recently released hardware can turn the tides in 2017.

[via gamesindustry.biz]