According to Screen Digest, the interactive leisure software market in the UK has grown by over 100% from 1997 to 2003, far outstripping cinema box office (30%), VHS/DVD rental (14%) and music retail (which has actually fallen by 4.5% over the same period). Compared to the rest of Europe, the UK console software market is larger than both France and Germany combined, despite the UK population being just under 60 mln with the other two countries at over 140 mln.
UK maintains its ranking as third largest market in the world after the US and Japan. The Western European market as a whole was $1.2 bln smaller than the US market but $3.7 bln larger than Japan in 2003. This will most likely further expand as the ten new EU member states become more sustainable markets. Screen Digest estimates that the global interactive leisure software retail market was worth $18.2bn in 2003, up 10.8% from 2002. The UK 2003 market rose by nearly seven% over 2002, to 1,677 mln Euros, the highest value ever reached.