Earlier in the year, it was reported that the United Kingdom is spending more and more on digital stores instead of physical shops, with 67 per cent of 2020's total expenditure being digital. Now, new data reveals that percentage is actually much higher. According to a new breakdown from Entertainment Retailers Association, the UK's total games spending last year was 85.4 per cent digital.
It's not the only impressive number. Looking at entertainment as a whole, video games accounted for 48 per cent of aggregate sales. That means gaming is comfortably the UK's largest entertainment sector, generating almost as much money as video and music combined. Spending on games is up by 17.7 per cent year-on-year.
While the coronavirus pandemic has undeniably been a driving factor of these figures, this trend away from physical sales has been evident for years. UK gamers have been moving to the likes of PlayStation Store and Steam for software, with the percentage of physical retail spending decreasing over time. Having said that, physical sales were also up in 2020; sales of boxed games increased by 7.2 per cent versus 2019, while the arrival of new consoles to the market driving a 7.7 per cent boost to hardware.
Did you buy most of your games digitally in 2020? What do you think of these statistics? Discuss in the comments section below.