UK gamers are each spending over £450 a year in total on video games, downloadable content and microtransactions, according to new research.
The study, conducted by discount voucher site MyVoucherCodes, found that the average British console gamer is shelling out a whopping £473.401 on games, downloadable content (DLC) – such as additional levels and character enhancements – and virtual currency annually, revealing the changing face of video gaming in the UK.
Whilst the average UK gamer spends roughly £29 per game, they’ll typically spend an additional 50% (£15.46) on extra content that was not included in their initial purchase.
Looking specifically at the big three games console families2 – Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox, Xbox owners were found to spend the most with a total expenditure 40% higher than the national average (£660.76) and 189% more than what Nintendo players are spending (£228.18).
Fans of the Microsoft console came up as the group of gamers most willing to spend, with three in four comfortable purchasing extra downloadable content and three in five open to purchasing often controversial microtransactions.
In contrast, Nintendo gamers were found to be the most sceptical of spending more, with fewer than half of the respondents willing to ever purchase any additional content. Continuing the trend, Nintendo players appear to be the savviest group when looking for cheaper deals, spending an average of £21 per game, £12 less than Xbox owners (£33) and £8 less than PlayStation owners (£29) – surprising considering RRPs for each game per platform is comparable.
The number of games purchased per year/average cost per game
No. of games purchased
Avg. spend per game
DLC spend per game
The research also reveals what the profile of the average UK gamer may look like – over half of gamers surveyed admitted that they choose which console to purchase solely based on family and friends, while a third stated that they make their decision based on graphics and console performance. Surprisingly, game exclusivity per platform was only a factor for a quarter of respondents.
While 34% of men stated that their favourite genre of game was sport and 28% of women disclosed a preference for puzzle games, action and adventure games topped the list for both genders. Women were found to dispel the myth that video games are a male-dominated hobby, with 13% spending over £100 on games compared to 14% of men.
Regionally, Northern Irish gamers are the biggest spenders, with a substantial 30% admitting to spending between £150-£200 a year compared to just 9% of Londoners and 16% of Scots. Interestingly, the North East of the UK appears to be the hotbed of British gaming with 13% spending over £200 a year on video game related purchases.
Chris Reilly, Managing Director of MyVoucherCodes commented: “It is interesting to see how gamers on different platforms approach their spending differently. For parents who may be looking to introduce their kids to video games, they may want to look to consoles that are shown to encourage the least additional spending.”