Competitive gamers make up 13.7% of the UK population, finds study

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The UK now has almost 10m competitive gamers, according to a new report by Nielsen and Ex Corp.

The study reveals a thriving competitive gaming community in United Kingdom, comprising a substantial 13.7% competitive gamers of the total population.

This means there are around 9.4m competitive gamers in the UK, which has an overall population of 68.8m according to the report.

Also, the study revealed their robust average monthly spending, which averages just over £30 ($38.90). This includes spend on downloadable content (DLC), in-game items, battle passes and similar content.

Nielsen and Ex Corp said this data ‘underscores the passion and financial commitment of competitive gamers in UK’.

Beyond the UK, the global gaming market is predicted to exceed $300bn by 2025. Notably, competitive gaming is poised to spearhead this expansion, with an estimated revenue surge to $64.4bn, claiming over 28% of the overall gaming market share, according to the study.

The report comes a few months after UK games industry trade body Ukie published its latest market data, which showed that the UK games industry is worth £7bn overall.

It also found that UK viewers spent £47.4m on streaming and game video content in 2022, a drop of 4.8% year-on-year.

UK has high-spending competitive gamers compared to other regions

The report also compared the trends of competitive gamers in various major regions and countries.

Combined together, the top 12 countries represent over 83% of the total global gaming spend. These are:

  1. South Korea: 28% of competitive gamers. Average monthly spending: $37.3
  2. Japan: 14.1%,  $34.0
  3. United Kingdom:13.7%, $38.9
  4. France: 10.7%, $39.1
  5. Australia: 8.6%, $43.3
  6. United States: 7.8%, $52.4
  7. Russia: 7.8%, $22.3
  8. China: 6%, $14.8
  9. Canada: 5.6%, $40.3
  10. Italy: 4.6%, $35.6
  11. Germany: 4.5%, $44.5
  12. Brazil: 4%, $4.3
Global market size for competitive gamers

When asked by Esports News UK what constitutes a competitive gamer according to their methodology, a spokesperson for the report said: “A person who plays competitive games, not just playing a casual game like a match-three or [single-player title like] The Witcher, but a game where competition versus other players is an essential part, like shooters or MOBA.”

When asked about the survey methodology, we were told it’s based on ‘various sources such as interviews, various reports and etc’.

The report on competitive gamers also claimed that the UK competitive gaming market is worth an estimated $4.4bn per year.

UK competitive gaming market

Pavel Dunaev, the founder and CEO of Ex Corp, said: “The gaming industry has been growing at a double-digit rate for years. However, the growth rate is slowing, and more people are switching from casual to competitive gaming. As a result, we expect competition between gaming studios to increase, and gaming publishers to focus not only on attracting new audiences but also on building communities around their games to retain players.

“At the same time, we expect big competitive gaming titles to continue growing and attracting more audiences by switching them from casual games.”

There’s more info and a link to the full report on the Ex Corp website

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