Games Info Centre - Facts & Figures

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Facts & Figures

The computer and video games industry is a mass-market leisure activity; it now has a firm foothold in today’s consumer lifestyle culture, and is an important and highly prominent UK industry. In the last few years our more traditional leisure pursuits have been superseded by the computer and video games phenomenon.

  • Over 25 million dedicated gaming devices have been sold in the UK (not including PCs) since 1995 – this is enough for one device in every household.

  • In the last 10 years, more than 335 million computer and video games have been bought in the UK - that's five games for every single person and 13 games for every household.

Who is the average British gamer today?

Computer and console gaming is now a mass-market leisure activity, with millions of players throughout Europe. In the last few years the age group of those playing games has increased, and the average gaming age is now 23+.

Games are played across sexes, ages, and classes. Their spread is now almost universal.

  • 38.2% of the UK population is an active computer gamer.

  • 51.2% of British men and 25.1% of British women aged 10-35 play games regularly (SomeResearch).

  • The average computer gamer has been playing for over 10 years, approximately since the Sony PlayStation was released, with younger players having spent proportionately more of their lives with interactive entertainment.

  • On average, gamers play for 11 hours per week.  To put that into perspective, it is estimated that the average person will watch three hours of television every night.

  • UK female players spend more on games than any other demographic in Western Europe except British males.

  • 27.2% of all active gamers in the UK are women.

  • The average age of the UK female gamer is 30-35 years old.

What are the different types of games?

In the decade since the PlayStation first launched, when the vast majority of titles fell into the categories of shooter and sports simulation, publishers have become aware of the vast array of play styles available and attractive to a broadly adult demographic. There are many genre categories today, ranging from action adventure series like the international best-sellers Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia and Ratchet and Clank, to life simulations like the tremendously successful The Sims, to sports games such as FIFA Football.

As a result of today’s more demanding gamer, game plots have developed added depth, elements of self-expression and personalisation. They are now traditionally expected to feature social interaction as part of the experience – from games which use multiple input devices to Massive Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) – online titles which encourage teamwork and friendship development between thousands of gamers across the world who are all online at the same time to take part in a global gaming session.

Where does the UK gamer sit in the world market?

  • 18% of the European population are games players.
  • 32.2% of the UK population are gamers.
  • 21.3% of French nationals.
  • 16.25% of German citizens have a computer games platform available to them. (Gamevision)
  • UK gamers spend more than their European counterparts.

What are the most popular games?

  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas notched up one million units in just nine days when released in 2004, making it the fastest selling video game of all time. By the end of the year, GTA: San Andreas topped the 1.75 million mark.

  • Across Europe, a staggering 1.1bn-plus games or edutainment CD-ROMs have been sold since 1995. Across the world, the total number of leisure software units sold since 1995 is over 3.5bn. (2003 figures)

  • Compared to the rest of Europe, the UK console software market is larger than both France and Germany combined, despite the UK population being just under 60 million with the other two countries at over 140 million.

  • The UK's best selling games (FIFA Soccer, Grand Theft Auto, the Harry Potter series) now sell close to one million copies each in a year across all formats. That can bring gross retail revenues approaching £50m for each—making the best-selling games similar in their earning potential to the biggest films, around half that of video/DVD best-sellers and twice as lucrative as music's biggest earners.

  • The UK industry is the third largest interactive entertainment market in the world, worth over £2 billion every year, with the highest number of games development companies and publishers in Europe. It consistently leads the way in technological innovation and world class products, stretching the imaginations of consumers and creators around the world.


"The average age of the UK games player is in the mid-twenties"

"Over half the households in the UK have internet access, that's over 12 million households"

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