Nineties teens are 69%1 more likely than the national average to spend between 21 and 28 hours gaming every week. And with this age group 47% more likely to have access to a Nintendo Switch, PS4 (42%) and Xbox One (44%), a new report reveals how developers are tapping into this market to drive the UK gaming economy.
From the impact of remakes and remasters, to how digital downloads are changing the industry, online smartphone retailer, Mobiles.co.uk, has taken an in-depth look at how the UK’s gaming industry is evolving.
The study reveals that the UK gaming industry has experienced huge growth in the past 10 years, with retail sales revenue between 2009 and 2019 increasing by a huge 72.6%2. Further insight also reveals that in 2019, the entire UK video game industry generated a huge £5.35 billion1 in revenue, with £3.77 billion3 of that total generated from video game software sales. But with an impressive 37.3 million4 gamers in the UK alone, what exactly is contributing to this growth?
According to Mobiles.co.uk’s report, the trend for remastered games including Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, Resident Evil 2 and The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening, all play significant roles in the growth of the gaming industry here in the UK.
The new UKIE UK Top Selling Games List for 2019 revealed the below remakes/remastered games were amongst the top 100 best selling boxed games sold in 2019, while the more recent Final Fantasy VII remake quickly became one of the PS4’s best selling game to date:
Still remaining in the top 20 for the UK’s best-selling games of 2019 two years after its release, Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy receives around 6,600 unique searches every month4, its continuing popularity indicates that British gamers are becoming increasingly nostalgic when it comes to their gaming choices.
Crash Bandicoot also features at number 21 in the 2019 list. The remaster spiked the interest of gamers in the UK with a huge 49% increase in search volume over the past 12 months alone5. With an average of 27,100 monthly searches5, the franchise’s decision to reboot this classic was certainly welcomed by the industry, indicating there is a huge appetite for nostalgic gameplay here in the UK.
The final remaster included in the list of the top-selling games is The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening. Originally launched on the Game Boy in 1993, the remake was designed for the Nintendo Switch. As of March 2020, the new Link’s Awakening had sold more than four million copies globally6, and it’s one of the best-selling games of all time for the Nintendo Switch.
Lee Chambers, Psychologist and gaming expert, commented on the research:
“Gaming and nostalgia are heavily interconnected, to the point where it fuels trends and shapes the industry direction. Video games are incredible triggers for nostalgia, anchoring us back to an often carefree time, when we had fewer responsibilities and gaming became a social construct as groups of children all sat around in a bedroom socialising while playing.
“The reality of the industry is that nostalgic gamers are now the ones with purchasing power to relive past glories fighting dragons of their youth, while being decision-makers for buying games as presents for their children. And that is gradually shaping the industry, risk aversion for the new, settling for the old. Your average early millennial is approaching 40. They don’t have the time they did as a child to form an emotional bond to a game’s story with life’s distractions, but a remake removes that barrier, making it all the more attractive.”
The new study also reveals the impact digital downloads are having on the industry, with over two thirds (70%)6 of the UK’s total video game sales revenue, generating a total of £2.63 billion6, coming from digital downloads. Even more remarkably, 42%6 of this revenue came directly from mobile games, indicating a shift in the industry towards smartphone gaming.
The report indicates that UK gamers are not only changing the way they purchase games but thanks to recent advancements in smartphone technology – including cinematic displays, advanced GPUs and even the introduction of high-speed 5G – they’re also expanding the devices they play on.
With a projected 2%7 compound annual growth rate, the huge surge in the mobile gaming sector is predicted to maintain its momentum in 2020 and beyond. An estimated 21 million people in the UK played a mobile game in 20197, with 19% of users aged 18 to 24, 37% falling in the 25-34 age bracket and 23% aged 35-447.
Andrew Cartledge, mobile expert at Mobiles.co.uk, says
“In the UK, and all across the world, there’s no doubt that the gaming industry is growing at a rapid speed. The excitement for the next remake or remaster makes sure there’s still a place for the old, while the huge shift towards digital assures the industry and its consumers can keep up with the new.
“Mobile gaming is already huge in 2020 and will only get bigger in the years to come. If you’re interested in trying out some of the very best mobile games like PUBG and Fortnite for yourself, make sure you have a powerful handset to play on.”
For the full report on the UK gaming industry, mobile gaming, remasters and more, please visit: https://www.mobiles.co.uk/blog/understanding-the-uk-gaming-industry-mobiles-remasters-and-more/#fn1
Credit and source for image https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziUMJB3id8I
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