Stats also reveal payment style preferences and the cybersecurity threat to gamers

Payments company, Secure Trading, has today released a new report analysing the behaviour and payment habits of gamers, that shines a light on important trends such as cybersecurity, the console wars and in-game cheating. With feedback from 2,000 UK gamers, the industry report UK Online Gaming Payments and Fraud is available to download here, with results broken down by region, gender, age and gaming platform.

Payment behaviour of UK gamers

The report finds that UK gamers spend an average of £124.46 on gaming annually, made across 4.27 individual purchases.  These purchases are twice as likely to be made online (58%) compared to instore (33%).  The research also found that two in ten gamers would rather pay for games on a Netflix-style subscription service and that debit card is the most popular form of payment in gaming, with 50% of respondents using it; only 38% have used cash.

Also in the report are stats on:

  • Londoners spending the most on games, compared to gamers in the South East which spend the least
  • Xbox gamer spend compared to PC, Playstation and Nintendo gamers
  • Spend by men compared to women

“It’s no surprise to see that UK gamers are spending big,” said Thomas Pinter Head of Digital at Secure Trading. “What may come as a shock though, and of grave concern to high street retailers, is the continued shift online. Online payments are now almost twice as popular as in-store, and a sizable proportion of gamers would rather pay for gaming services on a subscription basis, meaning they would never leave their console to pay, let alone the house.”

Banned gamers, the console wars and cybersecurity

More than 1 in 10 gamers, (14%) of respondents, have been banned from a game or gaming service, for cheating, abusive behaviour, payment issues or in error.  There is also a lack of trust on behalf of the gamers, a fifth (20%) of which aren’t confident that payments made through gaming platforms are secure.  Eight percent of gamers have actually had their gaming account / profile taken over or hacked, and this rises to 18% for those that identify as ‘hardcore gamers’.

The research also reveals that the most popular gaming platform in the UK is the PC (55%), compared to 52% for PlayStation, 42% for Xbox and 31% for Nintendo.

Also in the report are stats on:

  • The worst region for banned gamers and the most likely to cheat; the West Midlands
  • The best behaved – in terms of console and region
  • More female respondents admitted to having been banned from a game or gaming service
  • 25-34 year olds being the most likely to have been banned and also most likely to have been banned for cheating

“The UK is a nation that prides itself on good sportsmanship, but that doesn’t seem to extend to gaming,” continued Thomas Pinter. “Perhaps it’s the anonymity that online gaming affords its players but, for whatever reason, many UK gamers aren’t above bending or breaking the rules to win. This survey only accounts for cheaters who have told us they were caught and subsequently banned, so you can only assume that the real number is substantially higher.

“It’s worrying to see that so many gamers have been the victim of hacking, but also a sign of the times. Cybercriminals are smart and know that gaming services can be a great way into a player’s wallet. Even if card details aren’t accessible, gaming has plenty of other valuable digital assets. A player’s account or in-game character, for instance, will likely be the result of countless hours’ work and will therefore be of tremendous value to them and on the black-market.

You can download the full UK Online Gaming Payments and Fraud report at the following link

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