Video Games Outsell Movies in 2008


For the first time in...forever, video games have outsold movies on a global scale.

In 2008, video games (all formats) saw more money made from product sales than DVD and Blu-ray combined. Packaged media, which includes movies and games, saw a six percent growth over 2007, leading to USD $61 billion in overall sales for 2008. Video game sales were up 20 percent over 2007, amounting to $32 billion in sales. Movies saw $29 billion in sales, a six percent drop from 2007. Going off the aforementioned numbers, video game sales represent roughly 52.46% of all "packaged media" sales, leaving movies with the minority share of 47.54%.

GfK International, in its 2008 wrap-up/2009 forecast, predicts that games will grow even more in 2009. If expectations are met, game sales will grow 12 percent to $36 billion. Unfortunately for Hollywood, movie sales are expected to drop four percent to $27 billion. If both figures are true, games would grow to represent over 57 percent of all packaged media sales.

One light at the end of the tunnel for movies comes in the form of Blu-ray sales. The Sony-created High Definition format is expected to see sales double in 2009 to $2.9 billion. GfK also reported that Warner Home Video is the top bread winner when it comes to  DVD/Blu-ray sales, while Nintendo dominated videogame software sales (as well as hardware sales).

While the growth of game sales is always positive, neither side of packaged media met expectations set back in early 2008. GfK originally predicted that games sales would shoot up 22% and DVD/Blu-ray would grow by 1%. Sales numbers not hitting expectations is blamed on - what else - the economy, as well as the decline of the DVD in the face of Blu-ray. It shouldn't be any surprise to see that the U.S. is the number one buyer of movies - although its market share fell to 47 percent in 2008. The United Kingdom comes in second place with roughly 15 percent of the total market.