The UK consumer games market reached a record figure of £7.16bn in 2021, growing by 1.9 per cent from the previous record of £7bn recorded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The valuation estimates how UK consumers spend on game software, game hardware and on game culture (such as toys, movies and books). It was released on the eve of the annual London Games Festival.
Compiled with the support of ABC, The BFI, GfK Entertainment, Kantar, OCC, Omdia, Nielsen and NPD – alongside analysis from Ukie’s insight and innovation team – the valuation provides a detailed examination of the size, scale and make up of the country’s consumer games market.
Game hardware sales grew by 17.4 per cent year on year to reach £2.66bn in 2021.
The main driver of the growth in hardware sales in the UK was a significant bump in the sale of console hardware. The category grew by 32.9 per cent from 2020, reaching a record figure of £1.13bn.
There was also a significant growth in Virtual Reality (VR) hardware sales. The category reached a new high of £183m, recording an increase of 41.9 per cent compared to 2020.
There was also minor growth in the PC game hardware and console game accessories, recording respective increases of 5.89 per cent (£881m) and 2.43 per cent (£464m) across the course of 2021.
The consumer game software market was valued at £4.28bn in 2021. This means that spend declined by 6.32 per cent in comparison to 2020 but has grown 11.4 per cent in comparison to a £3.84bn total from revised 2019 figures.
Spend on digital console games reduced by 5.59 per cent to £1.65bn with digital PC revenues down by 7.02 per cent to £620m. However, this follows a strong performance during the lockdown. Analysts expect to see a return to growth in most digital games segments in 2022.
For more detail, see Ukie