The British gaming market fell 1.6% in 2022, with games spending reaching £5.38 billion compared to £5.47 billion in 2021.
This marks the first decline in the mobile games market since 2012. However, Ampere Analysis reports that spending remains 23% higher than pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that this decline falls in-line with the global trend of recession as the games market continues to normalise following a period of unprecedented growth.
Mobile experienced the steepest fall of all platforms in the UK games content and services market, declining 2.9% from £1.72 billion to £1.67 billion. This was followed by PC, which fell 1.2% from $830 million to $820 million, and console, which fell 1% from £2.92 billion to £2.89 billion.
The data shows that the biggest drop in value of spending was across in-game monetisation, particularly among casual gamers.
A double-edged sword
As previously noted, the low entry barrier for mobile gaming also implies a low exit barrier, with players more willing to reduce spending than on other platforms.
The report also reiterates the impact of new privacy regulations, which have made it more difficult for publishers to target specific types of consumers in their user acquisition strategies. Notably, the App Store generates the major share of mobile games spending throughout the UK, and the recent changes specific to iOS devices have therefore been reflected in a larger drop.
The report also notes that the disruption was most notable in genres with a narrower and more enthusiastic player base, as such games require more precise targeting or for companies to rapidly develop new user acquisition strategies to reflect the current landscape.
Despite the decline in the UK’s gaming market, a recent study found that 72% of adults in Britain play video games every day.