Video gaming in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts
The United Kingdom (UK) is the leading video game market in Europe and one of the five largest video game markets worldwide. Thanks to the ongoing evolution of gaming hardware, software, and digital gaming content across the region, video games have become an immensely popular pastime among players of all ages. Before video caught up in 2022, the video gaming industry had ranked as the UK’s most lucrative digital entertainment sector for more than a decade, and it was the series of lockdowns that really propelled gaming engagement to a new level.
The UK’s video gaming landscape
The UK sports the highest number of gamers across major gaming markets in Europe. With an estimated 51 million players and a gaming penetration of around 65 percent, it comes as no surprise that consumer spending on the medium has also seen considerable growth in recent years. In 2022, video game revenue in the UK surpassed eight billion U.S. dollars, which is almost double the spending compared to 2017. While this growth in spending was visibly boosted by the pandemic, the leap can also be read as a result of the ongoing digitalization of the gaming world. The best-selling video game franchise in the UK is the FIFA series, which has grossed a 1.96 billion British pounds lifetime boxed revenue across 51 titles.
Mobile gaming unlocks industry growth
In line with global market trends, mobile gaming has become a driving force behind the steady growth of the UK’s video game industry. Smartphone ownership continues to increase throughout the UK, and thanks to the ever-expanding selection of gaming app content, consumer spending on mobile games has never been higher. In 2022, the UK’s mobile gaming penetration rate stood at 36 percent, which was not only considerably higher than penetration rates for PCs and game consoles alike but also signaled a shift in gaming preference, particularly among younger audiences.
Streaming and eSports are on the rise in the UK
Streaming has become a fundamental part of the UK’s gaming landscape. YouTube Gaming and Twitch stood out as the most popular video game streaming sites in the UK in 2022, which matched the double-digit increase in global viewership that these two platforms experienced during the pandemic. Additionally, as streaming platforms and competitive eSports are inextricably linked, it comes as no surprise that the eSports market is growing in interest and revenue. The number of UK eSports users is projected to surpass 13.4 million in 2023, with projected eSports market revenues of over 50 million U.S. dollars during that year.
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