Tipped to become a £10bn industry in just a few short years – the UK gaming sector exploded in growth this year with digital downloading increasing by 67% week-on-week and physical game sales increasing by 218% during lockdown.
As a result, the UK now sits fifth in the list of the largest gaming markets in the world behind the likes of tech proficient countries such as Japan, South Korea, China, and the USA.
The findings come from a new report from global recruiter Robert Walters and data provider Vacancysoft – Gaming: Perfect Play for Growth.
The report identifies the key elements that will help to drive demand and growth of the UK Gaming sector in the next 3-5 years:
1. Mobile Apps
2. Social Gaming
4. Augmented Reality
“One of the biggest indicators of the success of video game development and sales in the UK is the speed at which the jobs market has grown – an increase of 20% in the last year,” comments Tom Chambers, senior manager technology at Robert Walters.
“Although the UK may not boast the huge populations of the other countries in the gaming race, it has always remained competitive at developing technology – as well as housing some of the best gaming talent in the world.”
Impact of Mobile
The impact of mobile phones on the gaming industry has been profound. Whereas traditionally gaming was restricted to people who bought specific hardware or software for that purpose, mobile phones have made gaming accessible to all.
With that, the number of mobile gamers has been growing, so much so that by 2025, it is estimated nearly 2 billion people worldwide will be playing mobile games.
Already over 50% of people playing games are doing so from Mobile devices - with women preferring a mobile platform more so than consoles or PC.
Global gaming revenue distribution (2020)
Mobile Games - 51%
Console Games - 25%
PC Games - 24%
Rise of Social Gaming
The integration of social media has also led to the rise of ‘social gaming’ and the freemium model – whereby apps or online services are provided free of charge, with advanced features offered at an ‘add-on’ cost - leading to a wider level of accessibility and engagement than previously.
This combined with app stores both on Apple and Android has given studios an instant marketplace to sell into. As a result, there has been a mass proliferation of gaming companies specialising in mobile devices, with King.com (famous for the Candy Crush Saga) being one of the most successful in this genre.