Although many of the pandemic-related government restrictions in the UK originally introduced in 2020 were lifted during summer 2021, local consumers continued to spend prolonged periods of time at home. This scenario combined with the desire for entertainment and the increased popularity of console gaming fuelled both video games hardware and software purchases, particularly of mobile games, throughout the year.
AR/VR headsets remained a niche area of video games in the UK in 2021, accounting for just 9% value share of hardware sales. However, AR/VR headsets is expected to continue to innovate and offer new product development more frequently than any other video games hardware category due to being a relatively new mass market product.
Video games hardware and physical video games software had experienced the most dynamic growth via e-commerce in 2020. On the other hand, they also experienced the highest sales declines in 2021 through this channel.
Video games software is expected to record a positive performance over the forecast period. Greater interest in at-home entertainment and the social aspect of online gaming that many embraced during 2020 and part of 2021 will remain strong growth drivers.
With the increase in popularity of video games in general, increasing numbers of consumers of all ages are joining the gaming community for various reasons, ranging from enjoying single- player games as a way to escape reality to playing online games as a way of social interaction. In-game purchases in the UK have historically gained traction for all video games software categories to account for 60% value share of video games software sales in 2021.
Demand for AR/VR headsets was declining in the UK from mid-review period, including 2020, the first year of the pandemic and related lockdowns, a scenario that led to soaring sales of other areas of video games. However, sales of AR/VR headsets started to increase in 2021 and are expected to see further growth over the forecast period.
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This is the aggregation of video games hardware and video games software. Electronic/computerised educational toys such as Speak & Spell and LeapFrog are excluded from video games and included under pre-school. Video gaming population refers to the population that played a game at least once in the last 6 months on any covered platform. This includes players who have not spent any money on game purchases or in-game content purchases.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Video Games research and analysis database.
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