GTA V pulls UK out of four-year sales decline

Extraordinary sales figures boost British retail

Sales of boxed games have climbed for the first time since December 2008, thanks to the unparalleled success of Grand Theft Auto 5.

Rockstar's crime opus, which in the UK was snapped up by more than 2.6 million people in two weeks, accounted for half of all boxed games sold in September.


According to MCV data, GTA V has already generated £90 million in UK sales, and with the release of other key titles such as FIFA 14, retailers have made more than £180 million in total for the month.

That figure is a 45 per cent year-on-year increase, and the first time the games retail sector recorded an increase in spending since December 2008. Since that industry peak, year-on-year sales have gradually declined for an unprecedented 59 months.

New consoles are expected to drive gradual market growth back in the UK. However, the increasing popularity of digital content means that more and more business is not being recorded by retail monitors.

A similar outcome is expected for the US.

In September, PlayStation America boss Jack Tretton was asked for his views on the US games retail sector contracting for fifteen consecutive months.

"We're talking about the seventh year of a console and I guess if you used a TV analogy, you might say, boy, the re-runs of a show we released seven years ago aren't doing as well as before," he replied.

"The new machine, and the new console war is going to reinvigorate the industry," he added.