Spending on video games soars throughout 2020, Barclays finds
Exclusive data from Barclays Games and Esports released today reveals that the games sector has seen one of the largest increases in spending in 2020, with an increase of 43% compared to 2019.
This is 11%higher than the increase in entertainment streaming services (music, video and books, 32%) and 14% higher than general retail (29%).
The coronavirus pandemic has led to increased revenues in the already growing sector, with video game spend surging during the first UK lockdown when there was an unprecedented increase in consumers spending on in-home entertainments, compared to a 51% decline in out-of-home entertainment spend. Whilst spending dropped as the first lockdown eased, it remained up year-on-year for the majority of 2020.
The data also revealed that on average customers made more purchases throughout the year, with the average number of transactions per customer rising by 21%. In addition, there was also a rise in customer base, as the total number of customers spending on video games increased by 20% year-on-year. While customers spent more in total, the average value per transaction was slightly lower (2%) in 2020, pointing towards smaller, more frequent purchases and payments.
David Gowans, head of the games and esports team at Barclays, said: “Due to its at home nature, the video games industry has continued to thrive over the last year for large and small developers alike, due to strong demand from consumers. Games have certainly provided much needed entertainment for many and helped people stay connected during this difficult time.
“We’re committed to helping both smaller and large games businesses meet their growth ambitions, whether that’s support with funding, or through insights from our specialist team, who are based across the UK.
“The boost in the sector is welcome news for the economy as we look to bounce back from the pandemic, drive job creation and generate regional growth.”
To help support the continued growth of the sector, Barclays was the first high street bank to offer tax credit loans to video game producers, allowing them to receive advance funds against future tax credits from HMRC, improving their cash flow, and helping to make the UK one of the most attractive countries in the world for video game producers to invest.