Key points of British Gamers
There has been a significant shift in trends in the video game world away from the stereotype of the geekish male gamer (those who played MUD at the inception of the industry), towards a more widespread and eclectic industry. 70% of British people now play video games on a regular basis (roughly 33.5 million people), and 52% of those who are gaming regularly are women, compared to 49% a few years ago.
A significant amount of that increase can be attributed to free apps and games purchased by women over the age of 44, and older gamers. 61% of all games purchased in the last six months were free, leading apps to become the most popular format of games, with 55% of the online population playing them. The next most popular format is online games (48%), and then disc-based games (40%). More than a quarter (27%) of overall gamers play all three of these formats, with 70% of 8-12 year olds playing all three. All of this has led to trivia and puzzle games being the most popular genre, and Smartphones being the most popular device. Consoles however, still account for most time played.
27% of the gamer population are 44 or older. That’s a higher percentage than children and teenagers (22%). And not only that, but 56% of people aged 45-54 have played a video game recently, as have 44% of 55-64 year olds and even 32% of 65-74s.
On average (across the total population), a British person spends six hours of their total 52 hours of media consumption per week playing games, the same percentage as they spend of social media, and just less than they spend listening to music. When looking at a self-confessed gamer however, that time goes up to 11 hours per week for those 16 and above, and 20 hours for those between 8 and 15 years old.
The British Industry
The British video gaming market is the largest in Europe, and is home to almost a quarter (23) of the worlds top 100 games development studios. What’s more than that, 95% of all games producers in Britain sell products abroad. This is partially down to the fact that the UK has by far the best incentives anywhere in Europe for games producers, and it earns the UK economy £10 million a week.
It is even a British game that holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest $1bn (£646914290.00) sales gorss of any entertainment product in history.
This massive boom in the UK’s gaming culture has been brought about by the multitude of cheaper, more powerful smartphones on the market, as well as the growth of the tablet computer market. Also, the continued growth of social networks, and the amount of money the government if investing is super-fast Fibre-Optic broadband means that people are more able than ever to access online games and download apps from appstores.
The Global Market
The UK is following the global market in the growth of the games industry. Worldwide, the video game market has increased in size from $79,872m in 2012, to $111,057m in 2015. Over that time, almost every aspect of the industry has grown. The exception to this rule is the handheld games sector, in which sales have fallen from $17,756m in 2012, to $12,399m in 2105. This is likely due to the rise of the mobile games industry, which has by far the biggest increase in revenue over this time period, as it has more than doubled in size, from $9,280m in 2012 to $22,009m in 2015. Consoles sales figures have been steadily increasing over the last 3 years (from $37,400m to $55,049m), and whilst PC games have also still been increasing, the increase has shrunk year on year ($2,293m between 2013 – 2014, $1586m between 2014 – 2015)
Compared to Other Entertainment Markets
As we’ve already seen, a British video game holds the title of the fastest entertainment product to reach $1bn of sales worldwide. This is a good indication of the size and power of the video game industry, which is now larger than the film and music industries. Although the board game industry has seen substantial growth over the previous years, it is still significantly smaller than the video games industry.
Video games have also crept out of the entertainment market and into other areas of life, such as education, in order to help train and teach, as games tend to engage the audience more than reading or watching training videos.
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