32.1% of consumers in the UK list mobile as their top gaming platform. Computers and laptops came second at 25.4%, while static video game consoles ranked third at 22.2%, according to the newest report by The Digital Entertainment and Retail Association (ERA).
Handheld games consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, came fourth at 10.1%. As such, while the combined number of consumers preferring consoles outstrips those who prioritise mobile, mobile gaming is more popular than either handheld or static consoles individually. Additionally, combining the 6.9% of consumers who prefer to play on tablet would place mobile gaming in first place once again.
Free-to-play mobile gaming is the most popular way to play in the UK, with 30.2% of those surveyed doing so. For under 25’s this number increased sharply to 47.2%, signifying the growing appetite for mobile gaming among younger consumers.
2022 saw a sharp decline in many metrics, with the physical sale of home console software falling 4.1% year-on-year to £487 million, while physical handheld software fell 59.7% to £400 thousand. PC gaming also saw a significant fall in physical games, declining 42.6% year-on-year to £1.2 million.
In contrast, mobile and tablet games generated £1.49 billion in revenue compared with £1.44 billion in 2021, representing a 3.2% year-on-year increase.
A successful year?
ERA reports that the UK market saw a slight increase in 2022, with the industry generating a total of £4.66 billion, representing a 2.3% rise from 4.56 billion in 2021.
In terms of market share, mobile and tablets accounted for 32% of the year’s revenue, marking it as 2022’s second most successful segment. “Other Digital and Online”, which includes DLC, browser games, and games on social platforms, came in first place with a combined 37%. Digital console downloads came in third place at 16%, half the value of mobile and tablet games, while physical console and PC software (10%) and digital PC downloads brought up the rear at 5%.
However, mobile emerged as the leader of the digital market, accounting for £1.098 billion, 26% of the £4.2 billion earned across all digital channels. The report states that the majority of this revenue came from in-app purchases, which accounted for 97% of all mobile transactions.
Last month, Ampere Analysis released its own examination of the UK’s mobile market.