UK consumers spent a record £7.16 billion (around $9.14 billion) on video games in 2021, according to UK games trade body Ukie.
In its latest report, Ukie pointed out that the annual figure is up 1.9% from 2020, a figure that has been inflated due to several nationwide lockdowns which, in turn, have increased expenses.
Beyond mobile, all other software sales were down 6.32% year-on-year to £4.28 billion ($5.6 billion), although that was still slightly above pre-pandemic levels.
However, the trade body reported that the only software sales category that did not undergo demarcation was mobile games, which maintained the same levels seen in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The correction year
For 2021, UK mobile games generated £1.46 billion ($1.92 billion) in consumer spending, representing around 20.4% of the UK’s total consumer spending on games.
Spending on mobile games was the second biggest spend on software for the year, behind spending on digital consoles at £1.65bn ($2.17bn) but above spending on digital PCs at £620 million ($815 million).
“The important story here is how successfully the lockdown-related boost seen in 2020 carried over into the corrective year of 2021,” commented Steven Bailey, Omdia Senior Gaming Analyst.
“We expect a return to growth for most digital domains in 2022 as game makers continue to create new standards for engaging content and explore combinations of business models that can help keep people engaged and connected even in times of instability.
Earlier this month, Ukie reported that 56% of gaming industry professionals would prefer a hybrid work model post-pandemic.