The Face of the British Gamer is Changing

London, United Kingdom, 29th June 2010 - The UK is expanding its love of gaming and embracing the online space, according to new statistics released by The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) and the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE).

With the rise of online and even mobile gaming, the industry has opened up to new audiences offering everything from the traditional gaming console experience to FarmVille and iPhone gaming apps. Almost a third (32 per cent) of the UK population now classifies themselves as gamers, making gaming one of the most popular modern leisure activities.

These new gamers are seeking more online formats, both single and multiplayer experiences and are embracing games on both traditional gaming sites, social networking and other non-gaming web pages. A massive 60 per cent of gamers use online gaming sites, with 37 per cent using social networking or other non-gaming sites, suggesting that gaming is becoming more accessible to the traditional ‘non-gamer’.

Younger audiences are particularly being drawn into this new gaming world, with 74 per cent of 16-19 year olds defining themselves as gamers and 60 per cent of 20-24 year olds.

The broad variety of games to be found on online sites appeal to new players and have gone some way to redressing the traditionally uneven male/female gaming demographic. In 2010, 34 per cent of men in the UK define themselves as gamers with female gamers quickly catching up at 31 per cent. And, unsurprisingly, this new gamer is steering away from the traditional shoot-em-up genre, preferring to challenge their cerebral cortex rather than their hand-eye co-ordination. A whopping 65 per cent of gamers play puzzle games online, with only 18 per cent enjoying a more conventional online multiplayer game.

Mike Rawlinson, Director-General of UKIE, noted: “In the last few years the development of motion sensor technology saw gaming become more accessible to new audiences who didn’t previously connect with the industry. With the growth of gaming platforms such as social networking sites and the iPhone, we are witnessing once again the growth of gaming into new areas of society, truly showing that the UK is a nation of gamers. To reflect this evolution and growth, we as a trade body are also expanding our remit and will later this year be known as the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment so we can represent all areas of the industry.”

Online gaming has also been given a boost by the rise of the ‘bedroom developer’, creating mini games and uploading them to the internet simply for the love of it. A huge 55 per cent of gamers play Shockwave/Flash/browser-based mini-games online and this is an area which will undoubtedly see a huge growth spurt over the next few years.

This shift is already being reflected in the popularity of differing games consoles with UK gamers. The PC is the most popular console, with 33 per cent of gamers using this, ahead of the Wii and the Xbox 360 with a solid 36 per cent combined.

In March this year, UKIEannounced it was changing its name and brand. The organisation will be re-launched under the new name, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UK IE), in September. The change reflects the evolving and expanding nature of the industry, as its moves into new areas such as social, mobile and causal games. As the industry’s leading trade body it is important for UKIEto develop its remit to ensure it represents not only videogames, but all areas of interactive entertainment.

Contacts:

For all press enquiries, please contact the UKIE press office on T: +44 (0)20 7300 6143 or E: press@ukie.info

About UKIE

The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment represents all the major publishers of games in the UK. Founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the country’s interactive leisure software industry, membership includes companies publishing and distributing leisure software in the UK. As a gateway to Europe, UKIE works to protect, promote and provide for the interests of all its members as well as addressing issues that affect the industry as a whole such as age ratings, child safety and IP protection.

UKIE works with members and media to illustrate the beneficial contributions that the UK videogames industry makes to the British economy as well as its influence in other industries. In addition UKIE works with GfK Chart-Track to compile weekly, monthly and annual charts and sales reports for the UK market.