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The Mobile Gaming Industry in the UK—Interesting Facts

UK smartphone owners spend an average of 24 hours on their mobile devices every week. This is twice the amount of time spent on mobile devices a decade ago according to the Telegraph.

How do UK smartphone owners spend their time? Nearly 100% (97.5%) of smartphone owners use social media. On the other hand, 60% of owners play mobile games. This represents 20 million people, six million of whom play mobile games regularly.

Stick around to learn the most interesting mobile gaming facts in the UK.

IOS is More Popular than Android

Android dominates the global mobile market—80% of all smartphones in the world run on Android. That’s not the case in the UK, though. More people (53%) own iPhones than Android smartphones in the UK (47%).

This means the majority of UK mobile players get their games from Apple Store. Samsung is the second most popular smartphone in the country, followed by Huawei, and Motorola. All these smartphones bar Huawei use Google’s Play Store.

With that said, not every mobile game can be downloaded from the Play Store. If you like to play online slots and poker, you don’t need to download an app. Most mobile casinos operate through mobile-friendly websites.

You can access a good mobile casino through your favourite browser: Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, to name a few. Some games have a free mode, meaning you can play them without spending your money. If you want to win real money though, you must fund your account.

You Can Win Money by Playing Mobile Games

In 2021, play-to-earn mobile games were a hit all over the world. Some people would make thousands of pounds every month playing crypto games like Axie Infinity, the Sandbox and Battle Infinity.

The buzz around play to earn crypto games dwindled in 2022 after Bitcoin crashed. But this doesn’t mean you can’t win money while playing mobile games. Online casino gambling is legal in the country.

This means you can create a betting account and play hundreds of mobile slots for real money. For the best experience, determine whether you want GamStop casinos or casinos not on GamStop. The latter provides bigger bonuses and a wider variety of games.

Percentage of Free-to-Play Games—65%

The UK is home to more than 3000 mobile game publishers. These companies have launched over 10,000 games in the last two decades. Although some of them charge for their games, the majority (65%) offer their games free of charge.

Take the word free with a grain of salt. Publishers must make money from their products. And so, they will often feature adverts or charge for battle passes and other privileges.

Advertising is the preferred monetization technique for British publishers. However, most companies tend to use a combination of different techniques. Also, 37% of publishers avail their games on both Google and Apple to maximize their profits.

Studies show publishers are gradually getting rid of adverts in favour of subscriptions and in-game purchases. The explanation is that ad-blocking software has become rampant. Some people use these tools to block ads from games, thereby denying publishers the chance to make money.

Time Spent Playing Mobile Games—2.5 Hours

Although the average smartphone owner spends six hours on their phone every day, less than half of this time is spent playing games. UK mobile gamers spend an average of 2.5 hours playing their favourite titles. As we stated earlier, social media is the favourite hangout place for the average UK smartphone owner. Reading emails comes in second while chatting with friends is ranked third. Gaming is the fourth most popular activity.

Action is the most popular gaming genre in the country, followed by adventure, puzzle and adventure. Online casino gaming ranks at a distance fifth, but it’s growing rapidly.

In case you’re wondering, more women play mobile games compared to men. The margin is small—54% versus 46%. However, it’s consistent with other parts of the world. Women generally prefer to play mobile games globally: they make up 63% of all mobile players.

Casual Games Dominate the Market

Up to 78% of all mobile games in the UK target casual gamers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Most people who love to play sophisticated video games buy a console or PC.

Mobile gaming is dedicated to people who mostly enjoy games casually. Think of Candy Crush Saga. You can play the game for 20 minutes during your lunch break at work. Then you can get back to work without worrying about your scores.

Casino games like slots also fall into this category. You could play slots for 10 minutes or an hour. However, the only reason for doing this is to have a little bit of fun. We’ll admit—some people play slots with winning money as their primary goal.

With that said, the era of sophisticated mobile games is fast approaching. Major console developers like Tencent, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard are now creating mobile games. And they’re creating PC-quality games to commandeer the market.

Last year, Tencent generated $33 billion from mobile gaming—more than any other publisher did. EA made $3 billion while Activision generated at least $2 billion.

Mobile Gaming is Bigger than PC and Console

This is no longer a secret. Mobile gaming is officially bigger than both PC and console gaming all over the world. And that includes the UK, where 60% of all gamers play through their smartphones.

Why do most people prefer mobile games? For starters, the majority of gamers are casual players. They don’t care about collecting skins, topping leaderboards or going on missions. They play games just to unwind for a couple of hours. Secondly, mobile games are affordable and accessible. Nine out of 10 adults in the UK own smartphones while 97% of Gen Z Brits own a smartphone. In other words, mobile devices outnumber PCs and consoles by far.

Another reason mobile gaming is popular is the ease of finding a good, game. In this age of freemium games, you don’t even need to link your credit card.

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