The gaming industry in the UK has heavily relied upon physical sales records to estimate growth within the industry. With more people buying games online and making other in-game purchases, uncovering the real growth of the industry has proved difficult.
The Association for UK Entertainment, also known as Ukie, has been addressing this with annual reports taking more into consideration. In 2018, the stats showed the best year ever for the gaming industry in the UK. Notable finds include a 10% increase in spending in the industry to almost £6 billion and software sales smashed the roof on previous statistics by surpassing the £4 billion mark.
Although the research conducted by Ukie has been insightful and gives a much bigger picture on the industry’s growing success compared to physical sales charts alone, the stats do not cover all bases and the industry’s growth may even be more impressive.
With such outstanding figures, it begs the question why the industry and gaming companies are doing so well in the UK? And can these companies start to keep up with their sister industry – the gambling industry and progressive sites like mFortune Bingo?
Reason One: Gaming is a Cheaper Form of Entertainment
When cash-strapped UK residents look for ways to keep themselves entertained, they are often met with a lack of options. Going to a movie or a social coffee with a friend may be cheaper than buying a new game, but the amount of time people spend with a single game can excel the amount of time watching the latest Pitt and Jolie release or the hour spent chatting over a cappuccino.
Thus, gaming is an affordable and long-term entertainment option that helps people stay entertained and get good value for money. With the average gamer spending almost 500 hours per year playing their video game and the average spend per person per year just over £150, it equates to around 30p per hour to stay entertained.
Reason Two: Gaming is Shaking Its Stigma
For some people, playing video games was viewed as a procrastinator’s hobby with visions of divorced and unemployed men eating cereal for dinner. Well, that is not the case anymore as gaming has rebranded itself throughout the globe. Gaming has become big business with players being awarded massive prize funds in competitions. Not to forget the creations of stadiums packed with avid supporters. In a way, gaming has rebranded into a full-time sport to be admired.
Reason Three: The UK Government is Helping
Gaming developers and gaming companies overseas had always had a better deal than UK-based companies. However, the UK Government has changed this and handed out tax breaks for businesses in the UK developing games. The government has made it clear they want to support the industry with their own schemes and launched Video Games Tax Credits, also known as VGTC.
Specifically, the scheme awards companies the right to tax relief on 80% of the costs needed to develop a game. Although this does not directly benefit the gaming consumer, it does make the UK gaming industry a more lucrative one for investors. This has a knock-on effect and makes for better games and more people choosing to buy games in the UK.
Reason Four: Even Further Investment
External investment is always welcome in the UK’s gaming industry, which the above points to. Yet, UK gaming companies are not showing signs of resting on their laurels. Instead, they are putting down the accelerator on their success and expanding their workforce and doing even more. They may just be growing at the perfect time and making the future of the industry just as promising.
The UK has always been a hotbed for innovation and technological advances in the gaming industry. The signs for continued success, more investment and increased sales are strong. The UK has even made its first all-day gaming channel for fans to tune in and watch their favourite gamers. You can expect more of these developments and innovations in the not so distant future.