This month, The Fintech Times is focusing on the world of Gametech. While a relatively new and less well-known sector of fintech, as the gaming industry increasing booms globally, so does Gametech. There’s a lot of money to be made in gaming, with some of this coming from embedded features such as in-game microtransactions for personalisation features, ad removal and many other monetisation possibilities. Here are some of the top stats you need to know about Gametech, with a particular focus on the UK industry.
How Big is the Gaming Sector?
According to TechNET Immersive report, the global gaming industry is worth $163.1 billion, up from $152 billion in 2019 and $78 billion in 2017.
The video game sector now accounts for more than half of the entertainment market – with 2.5 billion gamers worldwide (and 32 million in the UK).
Curtis Bailey, Business Development Director at TechNET, said: “It’s clear that for many people, gaming has become their primary form of entertainment. The industry has thrived in the pandemic, and salaries on the whole have increased worldwide. But it is not just the captive audience which has helped video games to thrive. The escapist element of games, in what has been for many, an extremely difficult year, cannot be overstated either, and neither can the social aspect. In the months we couldn’t see friends and family, video games became an effective and fun means of socialising. Gaming has become something that is accessible to everyone.”
UK’s Gaming Sector to Increase in Value
The UK’s gaming sector was worth a reported £4 billion in 2020 and is predicted to nearly triple in value within the next three years to 10 billion according to a new report released by global recruitment agent Robert Walters. The report outlines how gaming is the only industry within the leisure and entertainment sector to “have defied the odds” during Covid-19, generating more revenue than video, music and the film industry combined during the lockdown.
Tom Chambers, Senior Manager Technology at Robert Walters, said: “Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the games sector. In a world where blockbuster premiers, national sporting events, and hospitality and leisure were all vetoed – gaming has further infiltrated the daily lives of multiple generations as one of the only accessible lockdown past-times.
“During lockdown, there was a substantial rise in new users looking to bridge the social limitation with friends and family by playing together online – this was particularly notable with the over 60’s market who took to gaming to ‘keep their brain in shape’ and play with grandchildren.”
The UK is on the Road to Becoming a Global Gaming Hub
As well as this projected increase in value, the Robert Walters report also found that the UK gaming sector is expected to become a global gaming hub as it rapidly climbs the leader board, sitting fifth in the list of the largest gaming markets in the world behind the likes of tech proficient countries such as Japan, South Korea, China, and the USA. Alongside the sectors increase in value, the UK gaming sector exploded in growth this year with digital downloading increasing by 67% week-on-week and physical game sales increasing by 218% during lockdown.
Average Gaming Salary Increased
The TechNET Immersive Report also found that the average gaming salary has grown 4.14% over the last 12 months, increasing from £50,167.75 in 2019 to £52,746.25 in 2020. Individual age brackets have their own changes, however, is clear that there is significant salary growth whether you’re a junior staff member just getting started or a seasoned professional in the senior management team. 67% of game staff expect to see further increases in 2021 as the sector builds momentum.
“As someone who has worked on four continents over the last fifteen years, I can say it’s been a long road back for some from the Global financial crisis,” said Brendon Kelly, of INT./NIGHT. “Year on year growth of the games industry has not been reflected in salaries of content creators, but it’s great to see the trend is moving in the right direction.
Gaming Job Vacancies are on the Rise
Gaming companies have shown an increase in vacancies despite the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a 20% increase year on year across areas, with IT roles up by 43%. The current 27,000 employed by the sector expected to also triple within 5 years.
The UK gaming sector is included in this, with gaming companies rapidly increasing recruitment into the sales and marketing space in order to better monetise their products.
Tom Chambers adds: “One of the biggest indicators of the success of video game development and sales in the UK is the speed at which the jobs market has grown. Although the UK may not boast the huge populations of other countries, it has always remained competitive at developing technology – as well as housing some of the best gaming talents in the world.”
Where Are the Most Wealthy Gaming Jobs Globally?
Perhaps surprisingly, Guildford in Surrey, UK, is one of the top 5 best global locations for gaming professionals and opportunities, along with California (US), Stockholm (Sweden), London (UK) and Vancouver (Canada). Guildford is home to the heart of the video game industry as its home to a number of studios and game companies and is often described as the “Hollywood of video games.”
USA west employs the most gaming professionals, 31%, with Europe (24%) and USA East (16%) taking the second and third spot.
What’s the Impact of Mobile Gaming?
The impact of mobile phones on the gaming industry has been profound. Whereas traditionally gaming was restricted to people who bought specific hardware or software for that purpose, mobile phones have made gaming accessible to all.
With that, the number of mobile gamers has been growing, so much so that by 2025, it is estimated nearly 2 billion people worldwide will be playing mobile games, with it worth 51% of global gaming revenue distribution in 2020.
Already over 50% of people playing games are doing so from Mobile devices – with women preferring a mobile platform more so than consoles or PC.
Thomas Shibley, Global Head of Player Support at Wildlife Studios, said: “The demand for gaming has always existed – however accessibility and availability have tended to be the bottlenecks. The combination of high-quality devices reaching people around the globe and increased access to high-speed connections have made gaming more available than it has ever been. This ever-increasing accessibility allows the industry to continue to grow at a rapid pace.”
The Popularity of eSports
eSports is a form of sporting competition using video games. As professional video gaming starts to gain recognition from the sporting world, more people are moving away from being mere spectators to actual participants. This competitive gaming, usually done by professional players for prize money in huge tournaments, is becoming a big business.
The Premier League has also started to capitalise on the popularity of football to launch eSports tournaments for FIFA players across the country.
The popularity of eSports in the UK is evident in the profit, with Ladbrokes projecting revenue to exceed £159 million by 2021.
“While the UK may be some way behind other counties when it comes to eSports, it is a clear indication of how the younger generation is shifting away from passive activities like listening to music and watching videos, and more towards active participation by playing video games online,” Tom Chambers said.