UK mobile gaming market to hit £1 billion mark in 2019

Anne Freer | October 17, 2019

App Business

UK mobile gamers are spending an average £3.59 per month on in-app purchases – a total of £43.08 per year. That’s according to insights from Deloitte’s latest Mobile Consumer Survey.

The survey found that male mobile gamers aged 25 to 34 years were big spenders at an average of £123.72 for in-app purchases annually.

Paul Lee, global head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte, believes that playing games has become a common sight whilst commuting or at home.

“We’re a nation hooked to our smartphones, and ever since Snake, mobile gaming has been one of the key pastimes for the population,” he said.

“As mobile gaming this year breaks the billion-pound mark, new gaming subscription packages and franchises are lining up to launch into the market. This will undoubtedly mean that mobile gaming will reach the next level in 2020, bringing fresh opportunities for advertisers and app developers.”

Deloitte predicts that the UK mobile gaming market will surpass the £1 billion mark in 2019.

Although 31% of mobile gamers have previously made in-app purchases, only 6% regularly spend more than £10 per month. This results in 90% of mobile game spending being driven by just one in ten mobile gamers.

However, 53% of smartphone owners play games on their devices. Interestingly, 17% said they played as soon as they woke up, whilst 22% play games during bedtime and a quarter play whilst commuting.

The gender divide is most notable when it comes to time of day: women play games more often before bedtime (29% vs 20%) whilst men play more often at school or work (19% versus 11%).

“The vitality of the mobile games market is down to its variety: there is a genre for everyone, regardless of gender, age or culture. This is a key part of mobile games’ commercial success. Use of games consoles is, by contrast, fair narrower, with young men far more likely to be the key players,” Lee added.

But older age groups should not be dismissed as 47% of those aged 45 to 54 years and 29% of those above the age of 55 play games on their phones. Older gamers are also more likely to pay to gain full access to a game. Lee explained:

“Across the generations, mobile gaming continues to grow and older users are significant market opportunity for mobile puzzle, card and board games in particular. As phones never leave our side, games will continue to matter to a wide range of age groups, and the quality of mobile games will continue to evolve for every generation to enjoy.”

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