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UK consumers spent $7bn on the games market last year | Pocket Gamer.biz


UK consumers spent a record £7 billion on the games market in 2020.

The impressive figure represents a growth rate of 29.9 per cent year-on-year, whilst also being more than £1 billion higher than the previous record, £5.7 billion, set in 2018.

Of the £7 billion generated, £1.5 billion was spent on mobile games, increasing 21.3 per cent year-on-year.

However, with £1.7 billion and a growth rate of 24.2 per cent, digital console was the most lucrative sector, while digital PC earned £669 million.

Overall, software sales across all categories reached £4.5 billion, up 18.5 per cent from the £3.8 billion generated in 2019. Moreover, 85 per cent of the total was earned through digital spending.

Meanwhile, boxed sales also saw growth, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, largely thanks to mail services.

“The latest consumer market valuation confirms just how valuable games proved to people across the country during one of the toughest years of our lives,” said Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE.

“The games sector is a growing, resilient and critical part of the UK’s successful creative industries sector. We all know how important entertainment, technology and creativity have been over the last year.

“The London Games Festival over the next 10 days will showcase and connect the fantastic leading games businesses right here in the UK with global audiences, investors and publishers, and will demonstrate games’ power to connect, entertain and innovate.”

Switched on

Last year, UK consumers spent $853 million on console hardware, representing a rise of 74.8 per cent, with next-gen consoles offering a boost towards the end of the year.

Despite the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S launch, the Nintendo Switch continued to be the most popular console. However, it is worth noting that there were stock issues with the latest hardware.

Nintendo’s flagship console has been a success since its launch in March 2017. However, its success in the UK last year can be attributed, at least in part, to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The island life title recently became the Nintendo’s fastest-selling game in Europe, having shifted seven million copies across the continent since March 2020.

“The 2020 big winner by format was Nintendo Switch for software by revenue,” said Dorian Bloch, Senior Client Director for Market Intelligence at GfK Entertainment.

“During the initial Covid lockdown period, covering weeks 13-25 in 2020 where many stores were closed, and the initial Covid spike affected many entertainment sectors, we saw massive growth from Switch software sales, up 215 per cent over the equivalent 13 weeks of 2019.”

Meanwhile, across the pond, consumer spending on games hit $4.6 billion in the US in February alone. Unsurprisingly, the Nintendo Switch continues to dominate the market.



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