Gaming, both as a pastime and as a sport, has never been more popular than right now, and these UK gaming statistics will prove just that.
Read on to find out more!
Top 5 Must-Know UK Gaming Statistics
- Globally, there were nearly 3.24 billion gamers in 2021.
- UK gamers spent an average of 7.17 hours weekly on video games in January 2021.
- User penetration will be 58.03% in 2022
- 39% of British adults used a mobile phone for gaming.
- FIFA 22 is the best-selling video game in the UK.
General UK Gaming Statistics
1. How many gamers are there?
Globally, there were nearly 3.24 billion gamers in 2021. Out of these, almost 1.48 billion were located in Asia, the biggest market for video gaming.
715 million came from Europe, where the UK had the largest number of gamers—46.7 million, preceding Germany (39.1 million) and France (36.5 million), 2021 video game usage statistics reveal.
2. 62% of British adults played a video game in 2020.
(The Guardian, This Is Fresh)
Playing video games in the UK became even more popular during the pandemic, with more than half of UK adults using video games to break the monotony of lockdowns.
Those who started playing video games after the lockdowns now comprise 46% of 18 to 34 year Brits, while pre-existing gamers account for 36% of the same generation.
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3. 63% of women in the UK stated that they ever played video games.
In terms of gamer demographics, a Statista survey reveals that most UK gamers are aged between 16 and 24—92% of respondents in this age group stated that they had played video games.
As expected, gaming UK penetration is the lowest among interviewees aged 65 and over, 30% of whom reported playing games.
4. UK gamers spent an average of 7.17 hours weekly on video games in January 2021.
China takes first place with 12.39 hours —well over the global average of 8.45 hours. Vietnamese, Indian and Indonesian gamers spent 10.16, 8.61 and 8.54 hours a week, respectively, whereas video game players in the US spent an average of 7.71 hours weekly.
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5. Which country has the highest rate of casual gamers?
The UK has the highest rate of casual gamers. 69% of British gamers identify as casual players, much higher than the global average of 56.6%.
Only 2.4% hope to make it as professionals, while 14.4% are experts and 14.2% are entirely new to gaming.
6. 39% of Britons like playing online games because they are free or cheap.
Another 38% of respondents in a Statista gamer survey answered they play video games because they can access them instantly, while 29% feel they are getting good value for money.
Only 6% said they opt for online video games because they are available before physical copies are released.
7. 0.3% to 1% of people in the US, UK, Canada and Germany are considered to be video game addicts.
(DJS Research, UK Rehab, Healthy Gamer)
Gaming, like gambling, can easily lead to addiction. Actually, video game player stats and research reveal that:
- MMORPG is the most addictive games format, with 44% of surveyed World of Warcraft players considering themselves as addicts.
- 1% of the general population in the UK say they are under “significant distress” if they cannot play video games whenever they want.
- 30% of Brits skipped meals or showers to play video games during lockdown.
- Nearly six in 10 Britons stated that they lost sleep because of gaming.
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8. 52% of Brits said they logged on to YouTube Gaming to stream video games.
Judging by Statista’s online gaming statistics, more than half of UK gamers use YouTube Gaming as opposed to 42% who use Twitch.
On the other hand, 31% stated that they used Facebook Gaming, while 16% and 14% of respondents streamed games on Caffeine and Dailymotion Games.
9. Among Us! was the top-reaching game in the second half of 2020.
Peaking at 3.94 million in November 2020, Among Us! was one of the most popular apps among UK adults, holding its own against titles like Candy Crush Saga and Roblox.
Candy Crush, though, remains the leading free gaming app on Google Play Store in the UK, preceding Coin Master and game-sharing platform Roblox.
As of December 2021, hyper-casual Coloring Match is the most downloaded free gaming app on the App Store, followed by Slap And Run and mobile game Rocket League Sideswipe.
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Types of Gaming Statistics
10. 39% of British adults used a mobile phone for gaming.
Smartphones are the most popular devices for gaming in the UK, used by nearly 40% of adults.
Other devices used by UK gamers include:
- Games consoles & TV, used by 26%
- Computer: 25%
- Tablet: 20%
- Handle gaming console: 11%
- Smart TV: 6%
- VR gaming headset: 3%
- Wearable device: 2%
11. With over one million units sold, PS5 is the fastest-selling PlayStation gaming console in UK history.
Only 39 weeks after it was launched, the PS5 sold over a million copies in the UK, preceding Nintendo Switch as the second best-selling console in August 2021 and the Xbox Series S and X at number three.
As of August 2021, more than 151,500 game consoles were sold nationwide.
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UK Gaming Industry Statistics
12. Revenue in the video games industry is expected to reach over $5.5 billion in 2022.
With a CAGR of 8.02%, by 2027, the video games segment is expected to have a market value of $8.03 billion.
13. Video game software sales reached £4.55 billion in 2020.
The majority of spending was on digital games, generating £3.9 billion compared to the £689 million spent on boxed games.
Within the digital sector, consoles noted the highest revenue (£1.7 billion or a 24.2% annual increase), followed by mobile (£1.5 billion) and PC (£669 million).
UK console sales also drove growth in the hardware sales market segment, making up £853 million of the £2.26 billion total, which incidentally is the biggest increase seen in this segment so far.
PC game hardware generated slightly less (£823 million), while console game accessories (£823 million) and virtual reality headsets (£129 million) follow.
14. Spending on games culture products amounted to £199 million in 2020.
This segment witnessed a 32.6% growth from 2019, which is quite impressive given that spending on events and venues saw a 97.2% decline to just £249,000.
The movie and soundtrack sector (down by 22.2% to £22.9 million) and books and magazines (reduced by 24.5% to £10.5 million) also decreased, whereas the toys & merchandising grew by 22.4% to £119.6 million—the only segment to see an increase.
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Video Game Sales Statistics
15. Which is the best-selling video game in the UK?
In terms of unit sales, FIFA 22 was the most popular game in the UK in 2021, selling over 2.18 million copies. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Grand Theft Auto V follow with around 1.4 million and 1.1 million units sold, respectively.
16. 42.7 million games were bought in 2020 (digital and physical).
This figure is an increase of 34% compared to the previous year. Most of these games, or 24.5 million, were downloaded, which is not surprising given the closure of high-street retailers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
18. Who was the most successful boxed game publisher?
Taking up 20.5% of all physical games sold, Nintendo was the most successful boxed game publisher.
The biggest digital games publisher of 2020 was Ubisoft, making up 18% of the gaming market share, although these numbers do not include Nintendo digital video games sales statistics.
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19. Games represented approximately 50% of all entertainment sales in the UK in 2020.
(GamesIndustry.biz, Esports News UK)
Consumers spent £4.4 million on video games, 2020 numbers show, which is a 17.7% increase from 2019.
According to a survey of 1,001 UK adults, the average gamer in the UK spends around £298.20 on video games and in-game purchases every year, most of it going on Call of Duty, Super Mario, and Grand Theft Auto.
Uk Gaming Statistics in 2022
20. User penetration will be 58.03% in 2022.
As we mentioned above the user penetration in 2022 will be 58.03%, but it is forecasted that by 2027 the user penetration will be at 70.4%. Also, the number of users is expected to amount to 51.4 million by 2026.
21. Mobile games are the largest segment in 2022.
According to UK gaming facts in 2022, the mobile games market volume is at $4.285 million.
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22. The ARPU in the video games segment will amount to over $160 million in 2022.
According to the most recent report by Statista, the average revenue per user is projected to be $162 million in 2022.
As the UK gaming statistics outlined above confirm, this sector, fueled by the rise of smartphone use and the accessibility of streaming platforms, is already one of the biggest entertainment industries out there.