Hogwarts Legacy and PlayStation 5 Drive UK Video Game Market to New Heights in Q1 2023
The video game market in the United Kingdom saw a boost in sales during the first quarter of 2023, according to the latest data from market research firms GSD and GfK. Game sales, including both physical and digital downloads, increased by 1% compared to the same period last year, with nearly eight million games sold. This is particularly noteworthy considering that Q1 2022 featured major game launches such as Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Elden Ring, and Horizon: Forbidden West.
The success of the software market during this period was largely driven by Hogwarts Legacy, which has become the fastest-selling video game in the UK, outside of FIFA and Call of Duty, since Red Dead Redemption 2. Hogwarts Legacy has already outsold two of the best-selling games from last year, namely LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Elden Ring, showcasing its popularity among gamers.
The console hardware space also saw a substantial increase of 24.2% in sales during the first quarter of 2023, as per GfK data. This growth can be attributed to the availability of the PlayStation 5, which was largely missing from store shelves during Q1 last year but is now fully supplied. PlayStation 5 sales witnessed a remarkable rise of over 180% in the first three months of this year and accounted for more than half of the market share during the quarter.
The success of PlayStation 5 sales offset a decline in sales for Nintendo Switch, which experienced a decrease of over 25%, making it the second best-selling console of the year so far. Sales for Xbox Series S|X also saw a decrease of 18% during the first quarter.
UK Video Games Market in March 2023
According to the sales data for March 2023, overall game sales were slightly down by 3% compared to the same month last year, with a total of 2.7 million digital and physical games sold, according to GSD data. However, the remake of Resident Evil 4 claimed the top spot, despite its late launch in the month.
While the sales performance of Resident Evil 4 did not surpass that of the Resident Evil 2 Remake or the recent Resident Evil Village, it did outperform the sales of the 2020’s Resident Evil 3 remake.
PlayStation platforms accounted for 65% of Resident Evil 4 sales, followed by Xbox at 20% and PC at 15%. As a result, Hogwarts Legacy had to settle for the second spot in game sales for the month of March.
In terms of console sales, GfK panel data revealed a 3% drop in sales to 138,000 consoles sold in March compared to February. However, this still represents a significant increase of 23% compared to March last year.
The PlayStation 5 was the best-selling console in March, although its sales slipped slightly by 2%. The Nintendo Switch secured the second spot in console sales, with sales inching up ever so slightly compared to February, thanks in part to a new hardware bundle featuring Super Mario.
In contrast, Xbox Series S and X sales experienced a slight decline of 10% in March, signaling a challenging month for Microsoft’s gaming division. However, Microsoft saw success in the accessories category, as the Carbon Black Xbox Wireless Controller rose to become the best-selling accessory by volume.
The accessories market saw overall growth, with 616,045 add-on products sold in March, a 20% increase compared to February. However, this figure was down by 3.7% when compared to March 2022, according to GfK panel data.
What are your thoughts about the performance of the UK games market in the first quarter of 2023? Let’s discuss this in the comments section below.