A new survey of the consumer games market in the United Kingdom estimates total sales across all formats will total £3.6 billion ($5.8 billion) in 2011.
The number is down slightly from Newzoo's £3.7 billion ($5.95 billion) industry size estimate for 2010, with a 10 percent decrease in boxed console, PC and Mac game sales dragging down growth in MMOs (up 40+ percent), downloadable games (up 11 percent), mobile games (up 6 percent) and casual gaming sites (up 4 percent).
Revenue from mobile, online and downloadable games will represent nearly 44 percent of all money spent on UK gaming in 2011, according to the report, flipping results from Newzoo's recent U.S. market survey
which showed such games representing a 55 percent majority of spending.
Just under 52 percent of the UK's 60 million people are characterized as "active gamers" in the report, but only 52 percent of those gamers actually spends money on games, Newzoo said, with the remainder playing only free titles.
The rise of these free players has caused a disconnect between the time and money spent on various types of gaming in the UK, Newzoo said, pointing out that online and mobile gaming represents 60 percent of time but only 35 percent of money spent on games.
"We expect the free-to-play business models on all platforms, including consoles, to not only push the UK market back to growth but also decrease the current gap between time and money spent," Newzoo CEO and co-founder Peter Warman said in a statement.
Casual gaming web sites provided the most popular gaming option detailed in the report, used by 69 percent of all active gamers, followed closely by console games (66 percent) and mobile games (65 percent). MMOs were the least popular of all measured game types, played by only 35 percent of gamers.