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UK Gamers Spent £234m On Mobile Gaming Last Year

Figure includes in-app purchases, up nearly 50%.

Latest figures from Juniper Research show that the UK spent £234 million on mobile gaming last year, which includes in-app purchases. Anyone doubting that this particular slice of the industry isn’t on the up should note that that figure is 48% up year on year.

Just over a billion pounds was spent on boxed software though, which despite being down 26% year on year still massively outweighs the mobile figure. It’s likely one will overtake the other in the next couple of years, though.

Other data, collated by MCV, indicates that £655m was spent on online games. That’s up 25% and includes Xbox Live subscriptions, casual games, social gaming, download to own and streaming/on-demand games. £454m was spent on consoles, that’s down 30%.

The total spent on gaming in the UK last year was around £2.9 billion.

Sources: IHS Screen Digest, Juniper Research, NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track.

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19 Comments
  1. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Adding together boxed products, digital purchases & mobile gaming… they have it pegged that digital & mobile now accounts for 45% of the market.

    Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 11:56.
    • Alex C
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      I saw that. Just couldn’t work out why digital and mobile were lumped together. Made no sense.

      Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 12:05.
      • jimmy-google
        Member
        Since: Feb 2009

        The split of the digital sale would have been interesting to see. Wonder how much is console sales and PC digital sales compared with facebook games etc…

        Digital seems a bit too broad when subscriptions like xbox live are being included.

        Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 12:43.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Yeah. The decline of boxed sales might be pretty small if you add sales of digital console-level games.

        Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 14:58.
  2. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    wow, amazing. Consoles are dying looking at these figures.

    Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 12:29.
  3. jimmy-google
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    So mobile contributed just 12% of all games despite nearly doubling last year and boxed games taking at 26% hit (most likely due to end of cycle reasons). Mobile games sales were still only half of actual console sales. Out of all “games” related sales mobile games contribute just 8%. When you think that are about 47 million smartphones in the UK (that’s before you account for tablets) it looks like people really aren’t spending that much.

    There must be a lot of profit to be made on those sales otherwise this big shift of developers moving to mobile platforms doesn’t look that logical.

    Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 12:37.
    • jimmy-google
      Member
      Since: Feb 2009

      Sorry should be 36 million smart phones not 47 (there are currently 83 million phones in use in the UK but only 61 million people)

      Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 12:38.
    • Alex C
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      Not 12% of all games, 12% of the industry. That’s massive, from nowhere. The total includes things like airplane costs to E3, etc.

      Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 13:14.
      • jimmy-google
        Member
        Since: Feb 2009

        It’s 8% of the industry (2892m). 12% of games (1934m) based on the MCV report. Digital games does include subscriptions as well but there is no breakdown included but mobile also includes apps as well as games.

        When you consider the number of devices that can use mobiles games compared to consoles/pc then those mobile figures are small. It’s about £6.50 per smartphone.

        Mobile apps/games 234m
        Boxed games 1045m
        Digital games/subcriptions 655m

        Total = 1934m

        Airplane tickets for E3 etc.. would be under Events surely? Though airplane tickets aren’t mentioned in the report events only accounts for 2.4m of the 2.9billion

        Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 13:54.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      There is profit in the sales, as the development costs aren’t in the same league.

      The other thing is it’s a growth area, that slice of the pie is only going to get bigger, you can spend tens of millions of dollars developing & marketing a AAA console game and end up fighting over a shrinking slice of the pie. Doesn’t mean they’re going away though.

      The drift of developers to mobile is also people taking hold of their own studios rather than be given potentially short change by Sony/EA or whoever.

      Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 17:36.
      • jimmy-google
        Member
        Since: Feb 2009

        Game releases last year certainly down on the previous couple of years with several massive games like bioshock and tomb raider being pushed back. That will have contributed to the boxed sales drop as well as the apathy that cobra at the end of a generation cycle.

        It would be interesting to see the mobile number split by games and apps. I think apps probably make up a big chunk of that number.

        I think the freemium model will hurt sales long term. It devalues mobile games, there are so many no one really needs to pay for mobile games. Add that to Amazons free app of the day and you can easily rack up a few hundred games and apps without spending anything. There will always be a few a large number are prepared to pay for but those must have mobile games are on huge supply.

        Comment posted on 08/03/2013 at 10:13.
  4. DJ Judas
    Epic
    Since: Aug 2008

    The next few years will be interesting to see where the mobile money goes, whether it continues to grow and become a real powerhouse, or whether what were currently seeing is still in the novelty-period where people are trying out micro-transactions and the bubble bursts.

    There are still plenty of consumers to potentially get involved in mobile purchases, for example out of my entire family and group of friends, all of whom have smartphones, there’s only been a couple of purchases, and a real reluctance to part with money for an app.

    Aside from Google’s 10p sale the only thing I’ve bought is Super Hexagon, which is so awesome it was worth it…..it’s also in the New Humble Bundle. In general though it’s becoming more and more difficult to persuade me to buy a mobile game.

    Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 13:58.
  5. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    A quick gathering of data here will be easy. I spend, probably, around £30 on games for my iPhone over the course of a year. However, I’ll spend £300 or so on home consoles and PC gaming over the same duration.

    Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 14:49.
    • jimmy-google
      Member
      Since: Feb 2009

      I think I’ve spent about £2 on mobile games/apps total. I was going to put how much I spend on physical and digital playstation games a year but when I worked it out it was more than I dare to admit.

      Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 14:58.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Same here… :P

        Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 15:43.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        I spend about £120 on boxed console games a year. It’s declined every year.
        This year it will will probably be about £80, can’t think of anything outside of GoW:A & FIFA14 that I’ll buy.

        Digital? I do very little outside of my £29.99 PS+ subscription, it’s killed buying games for me – I used to buy loads digitally, something practically every week at £3-£15 a go.

        Spend£60+ maybe a lot more, on mobile & that’s growing.

        Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 17:40.
  6. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I don;’t think I have paid for any mobile game this year, but bought at least 5 ps3 games. I just can’t see mobile games lasting too long or keeping fresh enough to last long

    Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 15:04.
  7. coruscant
    Member
    Since: Oct 2010

    I’ve never paid for a game for my smartphone, am considering buying one for my new tablet but I’m reluctant to. Spend lots on my PS3 and Vita though. Overall I’d say mobile gaming won’t overtake consoles (be that physical or digital games) sales wise because, although they are popular with the casual crowd, they involve sums too small to rival console and PC gaming.

    Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 17:59.
  8. skibadee
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    bought one mobile game have tried it once in 2 years.

    Comment posted on 07/03/2013 at 21:13.

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