According to data from research initiative GameTrack, Angry Birds comprised 10% of the UK’s gaming volume in the first quarter of 2012. This should shatter any lingering ideas you had about birds being small, timid creatures. Now we know without a doubt that they’re aggressive and voracious enough to catapult themselves into the midst of the game industry.
GameTrack, which is run by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), strives to catalogue how money is spent across all corners of the game market, including downloads, packaged retail games, downloadable add-on content, rentals, and pre-owned titles. Its research indicates that 37% of UK residents over the age of 6 (around 21 million people) play games on any device. Angry Birds was the UK’s most popular brand in Q1 2012, followed by Call of Duty, Draw Something, Super Mario, and FIFA.
While Angry Birds and its fellow apps are huge hits among UK gamers, games sold at retail are still the favorite. 26% of the population plays packaged games, 18% plays online games, and 14% plays apps. Unsurprisingly, the used games market still holds bargain-seekers in thrall, with pre-owned game sales making up 16% of total game revenue.
Physical console and PC games will always have a big audience, but the market’s lack of major sales often makes it seem less compelling than downloadable games and apps. And then there’re the increasingly-hostile battles that console manufacturers and big-name publishers are constantly waging against the used games market. Sometimes, downloading an app just seems like a blessedly uncomplicated alternative.