62% of adults in the UK played some form of game in 2020, Ofcom has revealed.
This is an increase over previous years, predictably fuelled by the pandemic as people seek other means of entertainment and socialisation. While younger people were more likely to play games, there was an increase across all age groups towards casual mobile gaming.
This surge helped fuel the £7bn the UK games market generated last year, a 29.9 per cent increase over 2019. Additionally, while there was a surge in interest in casual mobile gaming, the enormous success Animal Crossing saw at launch in March 2020 (just in time for the first lockdown in the UK).
The research was part of Ofcom’s annual report on media usage in the UK. It reported different gaming habits between men and women, with women more likely to play mobile games, while men are more likely to use PCs and game consoles. Men are also more likely than women to play games online, something which Ofcom puts down to device preference and the type of games played.
Children were even more likely to turn to games during the pandemic, with seven in ten of the 5-15 age group playing games online in 2020, as a way of socialising with their friends. A quarter of preschoolers played games online in 2020 (and probably beat me), with nearly half of children aged 3 to 4 now owning their own tablet or smartphone.