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Black Friday in the UK – games market analysis

Black Friday, when companies offer massive deals and savings of sales discounts, was imported from America couple of years ago, and is now becoming a usual event in the UK. The analysis of the market indicates that this year’s sales event was quite advantageous for the gaming industry.

As shown by research data by GfK, reported by MCV, a total of 1,936,636 games were sold in the UK throughout the week of Black Friday, which ran from 21st to 27th November 2016. This constituted a sizeable 9% increase from the previous year’s tally of 1,778,851. In terms of the cash spent during the week, £56.4m was earned in sales revenue this year, which was up by a four percent increase from last year’s £56m.

The total number of games sold during Black Friday week compared to the previous week rose by a staggering 181%, most probably due to consumers, now familiar with Black Friday, holding off for a bargain before purchasing a game. GfK’s research also mentioned 2015’s week-on-week software sales increase, which was a significantly lower rise of 60%. The increase in software revenue week-on-week for this year’s Black Friday was 135%.

These large boosts in sales and revenue have been contributed to largely by the PS4, which enjoyed its best-selling week since its launch in 2013. Consumers were driven to the PS4 by a selection of top games, including Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, DriveClub and Ratchet & Clank, all of which entered the Top 40 in sales. Recent games such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and FIFA 17 will also have contributed largely.

“The Black Friday promotions have a huge effect on nearly every Top 40 title with big gains for PS4 games bundled with hardware,” GfK Chart-Track said.

Coincidentally, some retailers have complained about the Black Friday phenomenon, saying that Black Friday ‘is the worst thing to happen to UK retail’ because of the effect it has on publishers and the market. Some retailers said that publishers may refrain from November releases in the future because gamers will be waiting specifically for Black Friday so they can get a good deal, which would eat into the vital pre-orders and first week’s sales revenue.

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