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New Research Reveals 64% of British Gamers Have Increased Their Playtime Over the pandemic

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Future plc, the global platform for specialist media and home to leading games sites Gamesradar+ and PC gamer, has shared the results of a new research that examines the state of gaming in the UK.

The research reveals 64% of British gamers have increased their playtime over the pandemic. While two-thirds put this down to increased free time, more than a quarter (27%) said it allowed them to socialise with friends and 16% with strangers.

The research, completed in January 2022, was collected via an online survey of 1032 UK respondents – all recruited independently through Future plc’s independent research platform The Lens. All respondents owned a gaming device and had expressed an active interest in gaming during the previous six months. The nationally-representative survey contained in-depth questions about console and device ownership, next-gen consideration, and other related gaming behaviours among British gamers.

The survey found women are more likely than men to have embraced gaming through the pandemic, with 24% stating their interest increased compared to 15% of men. This trend is especially clear in the mobile gaming space, with women on average spending 11 hours and 50 minutes gaming on phones or tablets per week, compared to 10 hour and 37 minutes for men. Mobile gamers as a whole listed puzzle and word games as their favourite genre, a passion reflected internationally this year with the Wordle “phenomenon” resulting in the New York Times’ purchase of the popular vocabulary puzzle.

Another widely-reported trend, the explosion of digital driven by the pandemic has re-shaped the industry, with the Big Tech giants investing in streaming, digital-only formats, and the “Metaverse”. However, the physical format is still beloved by a significant number of gamers. While 56% of UK gamers have purchased a game digitally in the past 12 months, 42% have bought physical copies, representing a still significant slice of the revenue pie for games manufacturers.

When it comes to consoles, the PlayStation 4 remains the most popular among gamers (29%), followed by the Wii (21%) and Nintendo Switch (18%). Meanwhile, the uptake of next-gen consoles is increasing steadily despite ongoing supply chain issues limiting availability, with 54% intending to buy one in the next year. In this area the PlayStation 5 wins the market; 17% of gamers own one, compared to the 8% who own the XBox Series X and 7% who own the Series S. However, next gen units have ground to make up compared to legacy consoles, with many respondents stating they do not spend enough time gaming to warrant an upgrade (24%). When asked what they would consider purchasing in the future, almost all respondents (96%) cited buying peripheral items related to gaming, led by more than half (51%) who desire a VR headset.

The survey also revealed a passion for PC and Laptop gamers to invest in their devices, with 60% of this audience in the UK intending to upgrade either their whole unit, or parts within it. Future’s audience, in particular, is more likely to invest further in improving their gaming setup than the total population, creating a significant opportunity for gaming hardware manufacturers to reach this passionate and informed audience, and influence where this considerable passion-spend will go.

“We have studied and tracked consumer behaviour in gaming to help us react quickly to the changing demands of our 61.2m global gaming enthusiasts. It’s clear from the study, the gaming industry has flourished during the pandemic, with more people than ever choosing to spend their free time on their favourite device. The rising number of female gamers – especially in the mobile sector – should come as no surprise for those who have been paying attention over the last few years, but they are still an underserved portion of gamers. Though FIFA, Call of Duty Warzone and Call of Duty Black Ops proved to be the most popular games this year, our survey revealed women players prefer casual games which should make advertisers pause for thought,” Richard Thomas, Insights Director at Future, said.

“With Future now reaching 52.6m adults in the UK on a monthly basis, in sectors that include women’s lifestyle and wealth, as well as tech and gaming, our audiences are crucial for gaming brands looking to hit the sweet spot with their ecommerce and advertising campaigns. As gaming becomes increasingly mainstream amongst people in all walks of life, the ability to reach audiences in a variety of sectors and niches will be crucial for the gaming industry through 2022 and beyond,” Richard Thomas added.

Baltics

Engage yourself in the most complete Game Wave Festival, where business, learning, and enjoyment merge!

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Engage yourself in the most complete Game Wave Festival, where business, learning, and enjoyment merge!
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The Game Wave Festival is an international event taking place for the second year in a row from September 27th to October 2nd in Tallinn, Estonia at Tallink Spa & Conference Hotel. The first three days of six-day-event are dedicated to the game jam.
The Game Wave Festival is a business, education and entertainment event for the gaming industry professionals. It first took place with great success in September 2021 in Jūrmala, Latvia attracting participants from 25 countries.
“Game Wave Festival is an expressive way to celebrate glorious game development heritage, culture and traditions, meet new and old faces, and have fun. It is professional, oriented to have serious business talks, and cozy, to make friends with almost all attendees. I am happy to welcome all of you to the 2nd Game Wave Festival!” — Ints Viksna, Chairman of Board at Latvian Technological center.
The festival is mainly B2B, however, it is designed to avoid the “stiffness” these types of events sometimes have. Game Wave Festival attempts to capture the fun and relaxed ambiance we’ve experienced in other global and regional game events. GWF is large enough to get an overview of the main tendencies in the Nordic and Baltic region, and small enough to make friends with all participants – The friendships you will make in GWF, will follow you all your life.
Main event and B2Match
  • 30.09. – 02.10. The Main Event: Conference, workshops, expo, pitching competitions, business meetings and game jam final presentation.
  • The conference and interactive events are divided into 5 tracks: General, Art (visual, audial, haptics), Unreal Engine, XR and Board Games.
  • The online matchmaking platform is available for all participants all 6 days, and the meetings can also be booked on-site. Registered members of the matchmaking will be able to participate both on-site and online.
  • GWF uses the B2Match meeting and event management platform that works both on web browsers and mobile devices. This platform also handles video calls and conference streaming, so all functionality needed by the participants is neatly in one place.
  • There will be a private Business area for business ticket holders in Tallink’s Fidel Bar with a nice view of the old town.
The first three days of the six-day-event are dedicated to the game jam
Awesome game jam runs from September 27th to 29th. The game jam’s theme and diversifiers of the jam will be decided by the jam sponsors. However, the game jam does not end on the 3rd day, instead, the final ceremony is on the 6th day of GWF. This is by design so that the teams can improve their games by attending workshops and even pitch them in and get feedback in our “Early stage games mentor pitch”.
Three unique game pitching opportunities:
  • 1 to 1 board games author and publisher pitch in a private, closed space, where publishers can take their time to test the game and converse with the authors.
  • Early stage mentor pitch for anyone not ready for any other pitches, but still willing to train, test their prototype and get feedback. Jammers are welcome.
  • Nordic Game Discovery Contest Baltic semi-finals where developers from Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania can showcase their games to publishers and industry experts and compete for a place in the finals.
Three special event parties, including Business Afterparty and Pool party
  • The Business Party (29.09.2022) will be available for organizers, speakers, partners and business ticket holders only.
  • The Pool party (30.09.2022) will be available for organizers, speakers, partners, business ticket holders only and pool party ticket holders. There will be access to the pool area, sauna, hot tubs and a quieter area by the bar.
  • The Afterparty (01.10.2022) will be available for almost everyone (except for student ticket holders). It will feature Marioke, a feast table and a quieter area for business conversations.
The 3 day expo for game companies,  art, technology & education
The expo will be of interest to anyone who has a professional or a hobby curiosity about topics related to game companies, art, technology and education. Learning from last year’s success and good feedback, GWF will place staff members to guard the hall, so that the expo participants are not tied down at their booths for 3 days.
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Gaming

Battle Royale in CS:GO. How has the Danger Zone mode affected the game?

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Battle Royale is a trending game genre at the moment. The gaming world has seen many such games, like PUBG, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and others. But just very few of them were able to become influential titles. So today, we will have a quite unique Battle Royale game, a Danger Zone, under our lens.

But before discussing a Danger Zone, we wanted to talk about an essential part of the CS:GO – skins. It is one of the few ways for players to express themselves in-game. There are hundreds of differently designed skins, so you will surely find what is best for you. In addition, skins are applied to each game mode, including a Danger Zone. Our tests proved that one of the most efficient ways to get skins is through CS:GO skin cases. If you want to inspect this topic further, then it is recommended to check this article about the best CS:GO cases to open in 2022.

What is the Danger Zone mode?

Danger Zone is a mode Valve added to CS:GO on December 6, 2018, and quickly generated a resonance. The Mode features a relatively big map (unique for this Mode) specified for 18 players, who enter the map all at once to start a battle royale. In addition, you can enter this Mode solo or duo, so you can group up with your friends and try to fight for the top 1.

When the game begins, players must choose a spot (hexagon) where they want to be spawned. As soon as they appear on a map, they will have no weapons but their fists. Each player needs to dig a map, looking for better equipment, including guns and armor, medi-shots (med kits), and dollars. Dollars are used to purchase guns and special upgrades via the tablet given to you at the start of the game.

The map will gradually decrease in size until only a few hexagons are left. During that time, players will encounter each other, so they will need to fight. Thus, until the end of the game, there will be only a few players left. The win is granted to the final survivor of the Danger Zone.

Why did Danger Zone attract many players?

One of the main reasons for that to happen is the trending genre. It was very exciting for CS:GO players to test a popular battle royale mode in their favorite game. It was also effortless for them to jump in, as they didn’t need to download a different game.

It is also a great mode to rest from ranked competitive CS:GO games. It takes a lot of mental powers to concentrate and play for an hour in competitive mode. So competitive players considered a Danger Zone a great mode to play, have some fun, and rest.

How popular is Danger Zone right now?

So how popular is Danger Zone at the moment? The answer is not really. There are several reasons for that:

  • In-game changes. Valve has made some significant changes in Danger Zone mode which turned off many players. For example, they have introduced a respawn mechanic, which completely breaks an in-game balance. Thus, a player can just respawn on top of his loot and quickly get it back. Such mechanics do not fit well with battle royale gameplay. Valve has also deleted a Solo Danger Zone mode, and now you can only play in Duo.
  • Better alternatives. By 2022, the market for battle royale games has become vast. And unlike valve, other developers are specifying strictly on battle royales and constantly working on their improvement. So Danger Zone couldn’t stand the tempo, as the main direction of CS:GO is still competitive games.
  • People got bored. Another reason that comes from insufficient attention to the Danger Zone mode is a lack of innovations. Developers have to introduce new exciting mechanics to the game so that the player will be engaged and keep their interest. Sadly, there are not enough updates to the Danger Zone mode.

Conclusion

Danger Zone was a pretty interesting and popular Mode when it came out. But after five years, the Mode has lost its popularity. It happened due to numerous reasons, but mainly because developers were not focusing their time on this Mode.

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Gaming

SYBO Strikes Acquisition Deal with Game Developer and Publisher Miniclip

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SYBO, maker of the smash mobile gaming hit Subway Surfers, has announced that it has been acquired by Miniclip, a world leader of market-defining mobile games. The acquisition is set to complete this July following the legacy game’s 10th anniversary and a record-breaking banner year across daily installs, daily active users and daily revenues. The combined companies reach over 70m daily active users.

“We are so thankful for the vision, expertise and execution from Mathias and the whole SYBO Team, who have strengthened Subway Surfers both creatively and commercially during this past decade. Subway Surfers has continued to be a successful mobile game for millions of fans worldwide, year after year,” Sylvester Rishøj Jensen, Co-founder of SYBO, said.

“When we started this 10 years ago, our dream was to create something special that would be loved for generations to come. The whole company, and our incredible fans, have driven the game to stellar heights. We have really had perfect flow in our partnership and gaming adventure, which has now culminated in what is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – deals in Danish gaming history. It’s a legacy we are both very proud of,” Bodie Jahn-Mulliner, Co-founder of SYBO, said.

“We are incredibly thankful to our Founders for their vision and trust. 15 years after Sylvester and Bodie started working together, 10 years after Subway Surfers came to market and 5 years after I took the helm as CEO, we now wrap up the first season of SYBO’s journey with a great promise of what’s to come,” Mathias Gredal Nørvig, Chief Executive Officer at SYBO, said.

“Miniclip brings to SYBO added experience, reach and strength as we celebrate our tenth anniversary and look to the next decade and beyond. I am so proud! Proud of our game development teams, all support functions, and management team, for passionately expanding the Subway Surfers game experience, remaining committed to the formula our community loves, and to continue delivering surprise and delight for Subway Surfers fans on multiple platforms and genres. Miniclip offers us an opportunity to further grow and amplify, while still keeping to our core values and Team culture,” Mathias Gredal Nørvig added.

“Since its launch in May 2012, the Subway Surfers mobile game has grown to more than 150 million monthly active players, it holds the title as the most downloaded mobile game, it was the world’s first game to cross one billion downloads on Google Play, and the most downloaded endless runner game in Apple’s App Store’s history,” Saad Choudri, CEO of Miniclip, said.

“Miniclip has always had a strong focus on building high quality games that unleash the gamer in everyone, which has helped define the business and allowed us to lead in a crowded marketplace, delivering consistent growth through building our M&A with fantastic and innovative new partners. Which is why the SYBO Team felt like such a natural fit, having developed one of the world’s most popular games. They have a proven record of delivering and maintaining an incredible gamer experience, as well as continuing to grow virally. We are beyond excited to welcome them into the Miniclip family as we empower them to keep running and running,” Saad Choudri added.

Under Gredal Nørvig’s leadership, a team of savvy and experienced executives has navigated an industry of opportunities and challenges. The company plans to keep the current Management Team in place with David Byrne, who joined in 2018 as Chief Operating Officer and Head of Games; Naz Amarchi-Cuevas, who joined in 2017 as Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Marketing; Anne Schnack Hansen, who joined in 2018 as Chief People Officer; and Andreas Glenvig, who joined in 2019 as Finance Director.

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