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Digital downloads make up 99.6% of UK single sales

The volume of UK single sales grew for the fifth successive year, according to new figures from the BPI.

Total single sales increased by 6 percent from £177.9m in 2011 £188.6m in 2012, with 99.6% accounted for by digital tracks.

CD singles sales nearly halved - falling from £1.1m in 2011 to £0.6m last year.

Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know was 2012's biggest-selling single, with X Factor's James Arthur the highest placed British artist at number five, Official Charts Company data showed.

Psy's Gangnam Style was one place behind.

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New video games rating system 'a vital tool' for parents

As we mark the start of PEGI as the single video game age rating system, we're delighted to use the opportunity to help parents to make informed decisions about which video games to choose for their family.

A key way we're doing this is through the relaunch of www.askaboutgames.com. We'd urge parents to use this really helpful tool to ensure that playing video games has the biggest positive impact on their children and family as a whole.

We very much believe that the sole adoption of PEGI will provide clear and consistent direction on age ratings for parents and will be a vital tool in helping them to understand the types of games that their children should be playing.

– Dr Jo Twist, chief executive of The Association of UK Interactive Entertainment

What are the changes to the video games rating system?

  • All games sold in the UK will be regulated under the Europe-wide PEGI (Pan European Game Information) scheme.
  • The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) had provided 15 and 18 certificates that are legally enforceable here but was never tasked with providing 12 certificates meaning it was technically legal to sell a 12-rated game to younger children.
  • The new system will end the BBFC's role in rating video games, unless they contain explicit sexual content that warrants an R18 rating.
  • The changes mean anyone selling a 12-certificate game to a child under that age in the UK could be jailed.

New age-rating system for video games

A new age-rating system for video games comes into force today.

The new system will come into force today. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The new system is designed to stop inappropriate games being sold to children under the age of 12 and give the industry more straightforward rules for rating games according to age, the Government has said.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) had provided 15 and 18 certificates that are legally enforceable here. However, the BBFC was never tasked with providing 12 certificates for video games, meaning it was technically legal to sell a 12-rated game to younger children.

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Customers have deserted Game stores for purely online retailers

What's happening is the consumer is going about the way they purchase these games in a very different way.

They don't want to come down to stores like this, they're doing it online, and it means that the last few months have been really very difficult for Game.

And they had a dreadful Christmas and they've never managed to recover from that.

Game goes under at boom time for industry

Emma Murphy has been to Denton in Greater Manchester to visit a Game store, and says it is ironic that the company should go into administration now.

What is incredible about this situation is, as those jobs go, they're going in a booming industry.

Because the games industry brings around £1 billion to the economy in this country and it's growing all the time.

It's actually bigger than music and DVDs now.

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