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UK Games Market: £3.7bn spend in 2010 - Growth in free-to-play platforms

by Steven Williamson on 21 December 2010, 10:21

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Data from the Total Consumer Spend 2010 Report published today by Games Industry market research specialist Newzoo shows how big changes in consumer spending are transforming the games industry.

With British consumers spending £3.7bn GBP on games of all kind, the total gamers’ wallet only shows a small decline of 3% since last year. The US shows a similar drop of just 2%, resulting in a total spend of €24.7bn USD. There has been a drop of more than 25% in total spend on console games - which still accounts for almost half of all money spent on games – but this has been almost completely compensated for by growth across all online and mobile game platforms, ranging from 27% for MMOs to 66% for games played on social networks. Other key European markets show even larger growth in money spent on online business models, pushing the total spend up with 13% in France and 33% in Germany resulting in market sizes of €4.0bn Euro and €4.9bn Euro respectively.

In the current games market, revenue figure analysis is not enough. As all game platforms now offer “free-to-play” options, the key success factor is conversion. Analysis of trends in number of players, payers and average monthly spend per platform shows that the main factor contributing to growth is the share of people paying for games on free-to-play platforms.

Peter Warman, MD of Newzoo adds: “Our data shows consumers are not simply moving away from console games, but spreading their budget across more platforms. Their choice of game genre and platform depends on time, place, social setting and the need they are seeking to satisfy at that moment. There is no longer such thing as a typical casual or core gamer, as on average, consumers play games on more than 3.5 platforms and more than 85% of all gamers spends time on casual game platforms. Games are clearly becoming a more integrated part of people’s lives and social activities. The current variety of platforms and game genres combined with the low entry barrier of free-to-play business models will ensure further growth in western countries as well as in emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia.”

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