Ampere Analysis: UK console, pc and mobile gaming revenue fell in 2022

According to the latest report from Ampere Analysis, UK video game spending fell 1.6% to £5.38 billion in 2022.

The data company says it’s the first drop for the UK market since 2012. However, the figures remain 23% higher than 2019 (pre-pandemic). The games market received an artificial sales boost from the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

Outside of the post-lockdown drop, the UK market also saw a drop in spending towards the end of 2022. According to Ampere, the decline is due to the economic situation in the UK, including the growing cost of living crisis. The biggest declines during the period were in-game monetization, which encompasses more casual mobile games.

The mobile games market suffered a 3% drop in revenue to £1.66 billion. According to Ampere’s consumer research, this was due to younger gamers (aged 16 to 34) and older gamers (aged 55 to 64) spending less time playing games in the wake of the pandemic. The other major challenge for mobile developers is Apple’s new privacy rules, which have impacted app developers’ ability to target specific consumers through their marketing. This is particularly noticeable with more specialized titles and apps, says Ampere.

Over in the consoles section, we’ve already reported on total gaming software sales. But including DLC ​​and in-game monetization, Ampere estimates console space is down 1% in 2022 to £2.89 billion. The decline in spending would have been worse if revenue from subscription services hadn’t increased. Excluding subscription services, the company estimates that the overall market would have fallen 3.2%.

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While subscriptions have grown in revenue terms, it hasn’t been without its own challenges. Ampere says there was a drop of 300,000 paying subscribers in 2022. However, total spend has increased due to the higher tier offerings from PlayStation and Nintendo, which had a premium price point. The three console providers dominate the landscape of subscription services in the UK and globally, says Ampere, with cloud streaming services making up just a tiny slice of the market.

Other challenges in the console space included a drop in Nintendo Switch sales as the platform begins to age, an intermittent release schedule, third-party game delays, and the unavailability of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Xbox Series S was the only platform “readily available”, but doesn’t have the “high-end pull” of the Series X, Ampere writes.

Finally, PC revenue fell 1.2% to £815m in 2022, taking all monetization models into account. The number of premium PC games sold fell, but this was offset by a higher average selling price. This was due to several AAA PC titles launching including Spider-Man, God of War and Monster Hunter Rise.

In terms of online spending, this resulted in a drop in sales as players spent slightly less time playing games. However, there were notable exceptions, says Ampere. Roblox has been able to “hold on to its pandemic-driven growth,” and the company believes this is because it has broadened its appeal to more age groups.