London, United Kingdom – July, 6, 2009 – The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), the UK games publishers’ trade body, today released UK videogame sales results for the first half of 2009. The figures, compiled by GfK Chart-Track, show family-oriented and educational games have become the most popular with the UK public. With combined sales volumes of 1.65 million units, Nintendo’s Wii Fit, Wii Play and Mario Kart Wii titles equate to 72% of the top five ‘best sellers’ chart. The period also saw total sales of Nintendo’s Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training surpass the three million units mark to become the UK’s most popular game ever.

“These figures are clear evidence that gaming is now mainstream in the UK,” said Michael Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA. “The demographic has changed, so it’s time we did away with the misperception that videogames are merely the preserve of teenage boys shooting zombies. Innovation in the industry means the social and educational benefits of gaming are now enjoyed by players of both sexes and of all ages.”

The number of home and portable gaming consoles in the UK now stands at 24 million which, to put in perspective, is around the same number as there are UK households. This growth in popularity was underlined in a report by Nielsen Research for the Interactive Software Federation of Europe* which showed that 33% of the UK population between the ages of 30 and 49 describe themselves as ‘active gamers’ and 82% say they play videogames with their children.

UK videogame sales witnessed another good performance in the first half of 2009 with the second best set of figures in history. Whilst in real terms, year-on-year sales are down 5.7%, with 29.7 million units sold compared to 31.5 million units for the same period in 2008, the results remain encouraging for the country’s industry.

Commenting on market performance, Dorian Bloch, Business Group Director of GfK Chart-Track, said: “The videogame entertainment markets show that across software, hardware and accessories, the first half of 2009 is a solid platform for retailers, manufacturers and publishers to build momentum into the last quarter of 2009. The widening demographic and the growing trend in physical-motion gaming, means the industry is well positioned to see further growth.”