Supermarkets are making a killing in the UK’s £1.6bn video games market, having upped their share from 11.5% in 2008 to 15.7% this year [52 w/e 3 October 2010 Kantar Worldpanel].

The growth – fuelled by cut-throat pricing and Asda and Tesco’s foray into the pre-owned games market this year – is at the expense of specialist games retailers.

Their share fell from 62.7% in 2008 to 48.9%. Online retailers enjoyed the steepest growth, increasing their share from 25.8% in 2008 to 35.4% in 2010. Asda’s head of games Andrew Thompson said a focus for 2011 would be extending online entertainment sales through the supermarket’s website.

“Games players tend to be PC-savvy, so they’re comfortable with shopping online,” said Kim Bayley, the Entertainment Retailers Association’s director general.

“This gave online a head start over the supermarkets, but they’re starting to gain ground.”

Richard Brasher, trading & commercial director at Tesco, said the chain has upped its range in anticipation of a record Christmas.