UKIE notes that this represents a stabilisation following a period of unprecedented growth. The figure represents a decline of 5.6% compared to 2021, however it remains 17% above pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, the market was valued at £5.3 billion in 2019, or £6.03 adjusted for inflation.
“We’re pleased to see the UK video games consumer market has maintained its growth trajectory and remains in-line with where we expected it to be in 2019,” said CEO of UKIE, Dr. Jo Twist OBE. “Although we may have seen a natural levelling off following increased spending during the lockdown years, it’s clear that the appetite for games and games culture in the UK is still strong.”
Despite the slight decline in the industry’s valuation, mobile game sales climbed 11% to £1.43 billion. This makes mobile gaming the second most profitable segment in terms of gaming software revenue, behind digital console downloads at £1.98 billion.
Rises and falls
Outside of mobile gaming, there were several areas of the industry which saw significant rises in 2022.
Film and television adaptations and soundtracks generated £54.8 million in revenue, representing a 66% increase from 2019’s figure of £33 million. The report notes that 2022 was the biggest year for films based on video game IPs in UK history, however this figure doesn’t account for streaming shows, such as Halo.
Toys and merchandising bucked the trend of a 3% decline in the wider toy market, instead climbing 7.7% year-on-year to £196 million. This is attributed in part to the Pokémon franchise, which was identified as the top performer. And was also helped by multiple high profile entries in the multimedia franchise.
Books and magazines also saw a significant rise, climbing 17% year-on-year to £13.9 million. The year also saw a rebound in terms of event revenues, which stood at more than triple the 2021 figure. Events such as Insomnia and the Pokémon World Championships in London helped to drive this strong performance.
Earlier this year, UKIE also released its new UK Games Map offering insight into the region.