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Gaming in the Interactive World - UK - August 2009

  • According to Mintel’s research at least 65% of respondents surveyed had played games online. The trend is driven by greater access to broadband and hardware, including PCs, internet-enabled portable and static games consoles as well as mobile 'smart' phones.
  • For console gaming online, subscription-based services like Xbox LIVE dominate the market. Despite the cost, 31% of respondents admitted they had played online this way. This comes despite the widely held view that services like these should be free (according to 56% of respondents).
  • Playing online via PC games is the least popular way of gaming via the internet, at 21% of respondents surveyed (compared to 40% that play free browser based games). This is as much down to the higher level of technical knowledge and investment of time required.
  • The recession could be helping the sector: one in ten gamers admit to playing online because they don’t have the money to go out and enjoy other leisure activities. Free gaming sites are not the sole beneficiaries, the majority being fully paid-up members of console or pc-game based services.
  • Many online games providers are working hard to add value, in particular Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE.
    With moves to integrate Sky on-demand, Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm it is the most likely to retain and attract new subscribers in the downturn.
  • The industry must overcome many challenges. Unsurprisingly, older people are least likely to consider playing or paying for online gaming. Social networking is key: its increasing popularity with older web users has the potential for it to act as a gateway to a whole new generation of players.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Definitions
        • Abbreviations
        • Future Opportunities

          • Getting the silver surfers playing
            • More web gaming on the move?
              • Making customisation easy
                • Becoming more a part of the game
                • Market in Brief

                  • Greater access to technology
                    • Ease of use is just as important as ‘free’
                      • Consoles will continue to make gains
                        • Impact of the recession and the need to connect
                          • The future: Everything online?
                          • Internal Market Environment

                            • Key points
                              • More online gaming options than ever
                                • Figure 1: Selected device ownership summary, July 2009
                              • Average broadband speeds on the rise
                                • Figure 2: Broadband penetration and connection speeds, 2007 and 2008
                              • Rising PC ownership
                                • Figure 3: Trends in PC ownership, 2002-08
                              • Increasing interest in staying at home
                                • Figure 4: Weekday leisure activities compared to a year ago, February 2009
                            • Broader Market Environment

                              • Key points
                                • Stagnating personal disposable incomes
                                  • Figure 5: Trends in personal disposable income and consumer expenditure, 2004-14
                                • An ageing population
                                  • Figure 6: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2004-14
                                • Smaller households: encouraging console owners online?
                                  • Figure 7: UK household sizes, 2004-14
                              • Competitive Context

                                • Key points
                                  • TV, reading and listening to music more popular
                                    • Figure 8: Spending a lot of time at home watching TV, reading, listening to music, playing video/computer games and doing other games and hobbies, by gender, April 2009
                                  • Popularity of online video increased
                                    • Figure 9: Usage of on-demand channels via the home PC, 2008 and 2009
                                  • Low levels of technological expertise
                                    • Figure 10: Awareness of new technology currently available in the marketplace, 2008 and 2009
                                  • Broadband penetration does not favour the old
                                    • Figure 11: UK broadband penetration, by gender and age, April 2009
                                  • Internet insecurity
                                    • Figure 12: Experience of computer-based security threats, and the impact it has had on web usage behaviours, April 2009
                                • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                    • Strengths
                                      • Weaknesses
                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                        • Key points
                                          • Online gaming offers long-term savings
                                            • Is Tiger Woods the future of gaming?
                                              • Free online games are getting bigger and better
                                                • New takes on online games could appeal
                                                • Market Size and Share

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • How many people play games via the web?
                                                      • Figure 13: Penetration of UK visitors to online gaming sites, 2008 and 2009
                                                    • Leading online gaming destinations
                                                      • Figure 14: Total number of unique UK internet visitors to the top 15 online gaming destinations, 2008 and 2009
                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                      • Figure 15: Leading companies involved in the online gaming sector and their brands, August 2009
                                                    • Blizzard Entertainment
                                                      • Microsoft Xbox LIVE
                                                        • Sony Online Entertainment
                                                          • PlayStation Network (PSN)
                                                            • Electronic Arts (EA)
                                                              • Yahoo! Games
                                                              • Where Do People Play Online?

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Cost and ease of use play a big factor
                                                                    • Figure 16: How games have been played online, April 2009
                                                                  • Portable online gaming still to reach full potential
                                                                    • Older web users present a challenge
                                                                      • Figure 17: How games have been played online, by age, April 2009
                                                                    • Children and relationship status play a big factor
                                                                      • Figure 18: How games have been played online, by presence of children in the household, April 2009
                                                                  • Online Gaming Motivations

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Making use of dead time
                                                                        • Figure 19: Motivating factors to play games online, April 2009
                                                                      • Free browser-based games the biggest boredom beater
                                                                        • Figure 20: Type of online games played, by gaming motivations, April 2009
                                                                      • No compromise in the recession?
                                                                      • Attitudes towards Online Gaming

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • The majority think online gaming should be free
                                                                            • Figure 21: Attitudes towards paying to play online games, April 2009
                                                                          • Paid services difficult to give up for some
                                                                            • Interest in advertiser-funded gaming high across all ages
                                                                              • Impact of paying on type of console owned
                                                                              • Impact of Online Gaming on Lifestyles

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Most online gamers have better things to do
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Impact of online gaming on other leisure or work habits, April 2009
                                                                                  • Who is most affected by online gaming?
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Top five statements on the impact online gaming has had on other leisure or work habits, by gender and age, April 2009
                                                                                  • Which type of gaming platform has the greatest impact?
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Type of online games played, by impact online gaming has had on lifestyles, April 2009
                                                                                • Factors Promoting More Online Gaming

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Challenges in influencing more to play
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Factors that would induce more into playing games online, April 2009
                                                                                    • Who is most influenced, and by which factor?
                                                                                      • Impact of factors by type of online games played
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Factors that would induce more into playing games online, by type of online games played, April 2009
                                                                                    • Appendix – Where Do People Play Online?

                                                                                        • Figure 27: All online gamers’ playing habits, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Regular online gamers’ playing habits, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Occasional online gamers’ playing habits, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                    • Appendix – Online Gaming Motivations

                                                                                        • Figure 30: Most popular motivating factors to play games online, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Next most popular motivating factors to play games online, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Other motivating factors to play games online, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                    • Appendix – Attitudes towards Online Gaming

                                                                                        • Figure 33: Most popular attitudes towards paying to play online games (agree), by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Next most popular attitudes towards paying to play online games (agree), by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 35: Other attitudes towards paying to play online games (agree), by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                    • Appendix – Impact of Online Gaming on Lifestyles

                                                                                        • Figure 36: Most popular impact online gaming has had on other leisure or work habits, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Next most popular impact online gaming has had on other leisure or work habits, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Other impact online gaming has had on other leisure or work habits, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                    • Appendix – Factors Promoting More Online Gaming

                                                                                        • Figure 39: Most popular factors that would induce more into playing games online, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Next most popular factors that would induce more into playing games online, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Other factors factors that would induce more into playing games online, by demographics, April 2009

                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                    • Activision Blizzard, Inc.
                                                                                    • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                    • America Online UK (AOL UK)
                                                                                    • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                    • Blizzard Entertainment
                                                                                    • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                    • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                    • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                    • BT Group plc
                                                                                    • Channel 4
                                                                                    • Co-operative Group
                                                                                    • Electronic Arts, Inc
                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                    • Fédération Internationale de Football Association
                                                                                    • Freeview
                                                                                    • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                    • IGN Entertainment
                                                                                    • ITV plc
                                                                                    • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                    • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                    • Linden Lab
                                                                                    • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                    • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                    • Microsoft Ltd (UK)
                                                                                    • MSN UK
                                                                                    • MySpace.com
                                                                                    • National Basketball Association
                                                                                    • National Football League Inc.
                                                                                    • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                    • News Corporation (The)
                                                                                    • Nickelodeon Networks
                                                                                    • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                    • Nokia Corporation (UK)
                                                                                    • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                    • Palo Alto Software Inc.
                                                                                    • Professional Golfers Association
                                                                                    • Research in Motion Uk Ltd.
                                                                                    • Sony (UK) Ltd
                                                                                    • Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
                                                                                    • Sony Corporation
                                                                                    • Sony Online Entertainment Inc.
                                                                                    • Tesco Plc
                                                                                    • Time Warner Inc.
                                                                                    • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                    • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                    • Waitrose
                                                                                    • Walt Disney Company, The
                                                                                    • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                    • Yahoo! UK & Ireland
                                                                                    • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                    Gaming in the Interactive World - UK - August 2009

                                                                                    US $2,570.96 (Excl.Tax)