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British consumers to rack up $1.2 billion in spending on mobile games this year

The figure is set to rise to $2 billion in 2023
British consumers to rack up $1.2 billion in spending on mobile games this year

British players are set to spend $1.2 billion (£993 million) on mobile games in 2018.

That’s according to market intelligence agency Mintel, which also reports that mobile gaming accounts for 65 per cent of the $1.9 billion (£1.5 billion) total app market for the country.

Based on its estimates and data from App Annie, Mintel also found that spending on mobile gaming will jump up 61 per cent by 2023 and will reach $2 billion (£1.59 billion).

Mintel further reports that 27 million mobile phone and tablet owners in the UK play mobile games. Of which, 90 per cent are aged 16 to 24, while 30 per cent is over the age of 65.

Regarding cosmetics, Mintel reckons that 44 per cent of players who spend money on a mobile game last month bought a randomised bundle. On the other hand, 35 per cent say they purchased a cosmetic item for a game that does not affect actual gameplay.


“The mobile gaming market is strong in 2018, and it remains the largest valued segment of the mobile device app sector, despite the rapid growth of other app categories,” said Mintel Technology Analyst Andrew Moss.

“That is not to say the mobile gaming industry isn’t facing some disruption. The decision from the company behind Fortnite to release the game outside of the Google Play store will be watched closely, as this has the potential to threaten the current app store dynamic.

“Success of cosmetic items as a purchasing option is something of a coup in the mobile games industry. These items have no real value, but gaming culture has ascribed a value to them.

“The ability to see and interact with others online creates a fear of missing out where players can feel pressured to make these purchases.

“This is compounded by the perception shared by some gamers that those with cosmetic items should be taken more seriously than those without.”'s two-week UK Special is shining a spotlight on the country's vibrant games industry ahead of Pocket Gamer Connects London on January 21st to 22nd 2019 - the largest B2B mobile games event in Europe.