Brits spent 3bn on videogames in 2009

Last year was second strongest in history.

Despite a global recession, 2009 was the second strongest year on record for the UK games industry, as consumers spent a whopping 3.311 billion on videogames and related products.

Total software sales were 1.621 billion and dominated by Wii games, which shifted 18 million units. Nintendo's console was also bought the most times.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 was most valued player, however, generating 459m from games. That's up four per cent from 2008.

Unsurprisingly, Sony's PS3 gained significant ground thanks to strong exclusive titles like Uncharted 2, and shifted 11.9 million games, which is an improvement of 14 per cent. Sales of the console itself also rose two per cent.

Overall, the public bought 74.6 million games - more than one for every person in the UK - and 6.7 million consoles.

But 2008 remains the strongest year in UK history for videogames, after the public opened their wallets to the tune of 4.034 billion and racked-up software sales of 1.905 billion.

"We cannot forget that 2009 saw the UK economy in the grip of one of the most severe recessions of recent times, which has naturally impacted on the entertainment industry," said ELSPA's Michael Rawlinson. "It is not surprising that the UK videogames industry has weathered the economic storm so well as games represent great value for money.

"The UK videogames market is maturing - we are not seeing such explosive growth as in 2008, a sure sign that the market is coming of age. Consumers are shopping smarter and gaming is becoming more widespread across all demographics - this is demonstrated by the fact that a videogame (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) topped the Amazon best-sellers chart for the first time in 2009.

"Thanks to continued innovation from games publishers and developers, opening up new types of games and gaming methods, more and more consumers are becoming gamers and the industry is reaching new audiences."

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