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Impact of COVID-19 on Gaming Industry in the UK [2024]

The global pandemic has taken a toll on our lives and mental health. Since most people had to stay at home and find new ways to entertain themselves, the gaming industry in the UK has been thriving during the pandemic. 

It seems that everyone is satisfied with the impact of COVID-19 on gaming industry UK

After finding out about the gaming sector’s ascending path, it’s vital to learn how many people play video games in the UK. Believe it or not, there are more than 36 million video game users in the UK.

Before we dive right into the topic, here are some video game industry fact you might want to check out:

Top 10 Statistics 

  • In 2020, there were more than 36 million gamers in the UK. 
  • Gamers spend between 11.1 and 13.6 hours playing video games each week. 
  • In the UK,  18% of gamers started playing games during the global pandemic.
  • Surprisingly, 13% of lapsed gamers returned to their old habits in 2020.
  • In 2020, 37% of Covideogamers in the UK played games because they were trying to escape boredom.
  • Around 30% of UK gaming enthusiasts played games in 2020 to cope with stress. 
  • Almost 91% of respondents in the UK say they love playing Solitaire. 
  • In the UK, 34% of gamers prefer fighting games over other genres during the global pandemic. 
  • In 2020, people invested £4.4 in video games, which was one of the first signs of massive video game market growth in the UK.
  • In 2020, 4% of the UK gaming businesses reported significant revenue growth.  

Impact of COVID-19 on Gaming Industry UK

According to gaming statistics, there were more than 36 million gamers in the UK in 2020

In 2019, there were 33.34 million video game enthusiasts in the UK. The numbers started drastically changing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the number of people playing games jumped to 36 million, which means that the impact of COVID-19 on the gaming industry UK has the potential to open doors to new opportunities. In 2021, the number of gamers grew to 44.3 million. According to Statista, the number of people who play digital video games in the UK is expected to reach 51.88 million in 2025.

The mobile gaming audience has increased by 50% since the first national lockdown. 

The 50% increase in online gaming shows that this industry demonstrates rapid growth and expects similar outcomes in the following years. There’s no need to worry about the future of the gaming industry because it will always manage to attract new players and develop new content for the UK video game market.

UK citizens spent 29% more time playing video games at the beginning of the pandemic (March 2020) compared to the results of previous studies.

In 2019, average gamers in the UK spent between 4 and 9 hours on gaming per week. During the lockdown, you probably wanted to play the most popular video games in the UK and allow yourself to forget about the global crisis for a while, which is why it’s not surprising to see this change in user behaviour.

Online gaming statistics show that new gamers play online games for 13.8 hours each week on average.

The online gaming industry has been on the rise since the beginning of the global pandemic. People who have played games even before the pandemic tend to dedicate 11.1 hours to playing online games each week. 

The gaming population in the UK has increased by 63% during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

As the name says, Covideogamers are people who started playing games during the global pandemic. Believe it or not, 46% of all game enthusiasts in the UK started enjoying mobile games during the national lockdown in 2020. 

UK gaming statistics for 2020 show that 13% of lapsed gamers picked up where they left off, and they will probably continue to play games until the pandemic is over. 

Even some gaming fans who had given up gaming started playing again in 2020. It’s worth noting that in 2020, 57% of all lapsed gamers in the UK were male. In the same year, men invested more time in gaming. If you’re wondering how much time did Britons dedicate to gaming in 2020, men played games for roughly 9 hours a week, compared to women who enjoyed gaming for roughly 8 hours a week.

37% of Covideogamers said they played games because they were bored.

Trying to escape boredom is one of the main reasons why Covideogamers started playing. It’s not surprising that 36% of people who started playing during the pandemic enjoy gaming because it keeps their minds active.

Gaming industry statistics for 2020 show that there are various reasons why gamers in the UK play video games, and 30% of all respondents said that gaming was a coping mechanism for stress relief.

Some people (30% of survey participants) rely on gaming to feel a sense of accomplishment. However, 35% of all survey participants play video games because they need to cope with boredom at a time of social distancing. Since many see competitive gaming as a sport, 28% of gamers play video games because they need some alone time. 

Video game consumers love Solitaire, and 62% of surveyed gamers in the UK said that they had a favourable opinion of this popular card game.

If you’re wondering what the most popular video games in the UK are, you’ll be surprised when we tell you that FIFA and Fortnite are not on the list of trending games. Super Mario Bros is among favourites with 56% of positive reviews. Consumers in the UK love Sudoku (48%) and Scrabble (49%), but they also play Grand Theft Auto (44%) and Call of Duty (38%). 

Did you know that action is the most popular genre in the UK gaming industry, with 34% of survey participants playing fighting games? 

Acton-adventure is not far from the top since 32% of gamers enjoy this genre. Without a doubt, 31% of people love adventure, and only 28% play strategy and sports games. 

In 2020, the gaming community UK invested over £4.4 in video games, which shows that the COVID-19 pandemic hastened the evolution of the gaming industry

Gamers have been investing their money in video games even before the global pandemic has started, but now they’re willing to spend both time and money on their hobbies. COVID-19 has managed to transform consumer habits. UK gaming enthusiasts spent 33% more money on gaming during the coronavirus pandemic compared to 2019. 

In 2020, 4% of gaming companies in the UK reported massive revenue growth. 

COVID-19 has affected gaming industry growth. Business owners and leaders in the gaming sector witnessed high revenue growth in the past year since 45% of businesses reported an increase in their company’s sales. 

In 2020, the video game market value in the UK was worth £5.3 billion. 

The global pandemic has forced people to stay at home and find new ways to entertain themselves. Some started baking banana bread or knitting dog sweaters, but many people decided to stay true to gaming. Thanks to their loyal fans, the value of the UK market increased by £500 million compared to 2019, according to video games sales statistics in the UK. In 2021, the value of the UK video game market continued to grow, reaching a new high of £7.16 billion.


It’s easy to notice the impact of COVID-19 on gaming industry UK, yet we can’t help but wonder what will happen to the gaming sector in the future. Many believe that the coronavirus pandemic might trigger positive transformations within the industry and help developers create games for people of all ages and interests. 

We hope that you’ve found something to entertain you in these trying times, but we also want to encourage you to start playing games because they can help you overcome difficulties and make new friends along the way. 

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