UK bank account data shows 71% rise in gaming spending during lockdown

We all know that UK spending on games has skyrocketed during the pandemic, with charts, publishers and developers all stating big gains. But the latest figures, from UK bank accounts, pin that boom at a whopping 71 per cent year on year. 

The figure is taken from the lockdown period, from mid-March to the start of July, and comes from Cardlytics, which draws its data from 22m UK bank accounts, covering around 1 in 4 accounts. So it shows what consumers actually spent over the period with great accuracy.

Along with the rise in spending, it also informed us that there had been a 59 per cent rise in the number of customers. So we can see that the rise came from a rush of customers who usually didn’t spend between march and July on gaming last year, but had purchased something from the industry this year. Spend per customer was up by eight per cent on average. 

Duncan Smith, commercial director at Cardlytics told MCV/DEVELOP: “Gaming saw a meteoric rise during lockdown as the nation looked for sources of entertainment at home. The story is no different for June, as the delayed reopening of cinemas, sporting venues and other entertainment venues across the country continued to drive spend in the sector, propping up consumer spending overall.

And he also noted that subscriptions had paid a big part in the figures: “A growth in subscriptions on platforms like Playstation and Xbox have contributed to overall sales in gaming increasing by a huge 70 per cent over lockdown compared with the same period last year.”

That will likely tally with a big rise in online gaming, as many have reached out to play with friends and family during the lockdown. 

“Cardlytics is helping the industry to capitalise on the rise in spend with their advertising platform in banks’ digital channels, helping brands identify, reach, and influence likely buyers at scale.  Gaming and streaming services are clearly a market to watch. With the future of some public entertainment venues still in doubt, this market will likely continue to flourish.”

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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