Shelf stackers:
Mmm… fresh news of how well UK games studios rank against overseas competition. Just keep in mind that the annual Develop 100 survey only derives from British retail chart sales of titles in 2005, so it only shows how well British studios play “at home”. On that basis, it shows that British games development studios generated £234m (24 percent from 31 companies) of all UK sales in 2005, beating the Japanese who shipped us £189m of games. The USA’s studios, predictably, took the lion’s share of the UK market at £534m. The Develop 100 figures puts total UK games sales in 2005, after piracy and almost completely unaided by government support, at around ?957m. In contrast, UK box-office receipts were £840m for all cinema-release films in 2005 (source: Film Distributor’s Assoc.). Of course, one has to add on UK DVD sales of films, which total some £3.4 billion. So we can say /reveals with a flourish: the back-of-an-envelope/ that video games are roughly a quarter of the size of the UK film industry in simple sales terms. But we can also suggest that the lack of British presence at the box office (maybe 4 percent total, higher in DVD sales due to the BBC and suchlike) means that UK games studios probably sell more than twice as much product as film producers in their home market. We can also note that they do this without the massive investment and tax breaks that the film industry gets.