2020 saw the UK’s gaming industry reach a value of more than £4 billion for the first time. While it is still far behind giant markets like the US, which was worth as estimated £44 billion in 2020, the recent surge meant that gaming became one of the parts of the entertainment to show most improvement last year.
A Look at the Figures
The Entertainment Retailers Association recently revealed that entertainment sales in the UK rose by 16.8% to just over £9 billion, as 2020 produced the fastest growth seen in this sector since records began.
Video streaming shot up by close to 40%, while the music business produced its most impressive revenue results in 14 years. The explosion in the consumption of digital entertainment also applied to television, with the revenue from streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ growing by over 37%.
Across the entertainment industry, 80p out of every pound spent by consumer now goes towards digital products. One of the few physical formats to enjoy a strong year was vinyl albums, with a sales boost of more than 13%.
Focus on the Gaming Market
Physical sales of games rose by 4.6% from £572.3 million in 2019 to £598.5 million. However, this modest increase was put in the shade by the dramatic 16.3% rise of digital sales, from £3.1 billion to £3.6 billion. The digital sales category covers mobile games, downloaded titles and streaming.
In fact, the games industry has been leading Britain’s entertainment sector since 2013, when total sales added up to £2.3 billion. In 2020, the best-selling game was FIFA 21, with over 2.18 million copies of it sold.
After that came Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which sold 1.4 million copies. The other title to break the million barrier was Grand Theft Auto V, with sales of 1.2 million. Another sign that the gaming market is on the way up is the fact that the Steam platform just set a new record for the most concurrent users, as over 25.4 million were on at the same time and 7.2 million of them were playing.
Other Areas That Are Expanding
It isn’t just in the UK that gaming us undergoing a boom period. The US market had a value of $18 billion in 2017, but the recent surge in popularity has led to predictions that it will be worth $230 million by 2022.
Online gambling has also been enjoying massive growth in the last few years. Across Europe, estimated annual growth of 7% in online gambling means that internet betting should make up a third of all gambling on the continent by 2025.
The appeal of this sector and the huge level of competition can be seen if we look at the best new bingo sites. Sites such as Pizazz Bingo, Ruby Loot, and Big Barmy all offer tempting welcome packages to encourage new members to sign up. For example, Kitty Bingo gives a £25 bingo bonus when a newcomer deposit and spends £5. Due to how competitive this industry is becoming, especially within bingo, sites such as this are needed to help customers find the best deals.
If we look specifically at mobile gaming, a recent survey by Toluna revealed that over 50% of the gamers they spoke to have been playing more mobile games than they did a year ago. 41% of the respondents have spent money during games to get extra lives, while 32% spend cash to get some sort of advantage in the game.
The gaming industry seems set to carry on growing in the next few years, with more people than ever before turning to this as an enjoyable hobby.