Videogames the UK’s largest entertainment category in 2011

UK videogame software sales surpassed video sales for the first time in 2011, according to data released by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

Despite slowing physical game sales, the growing popularity of digital downloads and apps helped drive the UK games market to sales of £1,926 million last year, ahead of video sales of £1,802 million and music sales of £1,066 million.

Digital game sales generated £504 million, compared to digital music sales of £333 million and digital video sales of £97 million, with online and mobile delivery accounting for 26 per cent of the games market.

Almost all physical formats saw a drop in sales, apart from vinyl albums (up 44 per cent by volume), Blu ray (up 18.5 per cent) and Xbox 360 games (up 3.3 per cent).

ERA director general Kim Bayley said: "This is a dramatic time for the entertainment market. It is an historic development for the games sector to have overtaken video last year. Video has long been the biggest entertainment sector. Sales so far this year, however, suggest video is not going down without a fight."

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was the best-selling game of 2011 at retail in the UK, ahead of FIFA 12, Battlefield 3, Zumba Fitness and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.