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2009 UK National Gamers Survey

More online and console gamers than anywhere else in Europe - that's the proud boast.

29 September 2009: Britain has more online and console gamers than anywhere else in Europe, according to the 2009 UK National Gamers Survey. A staggering 73% of those questioned regularly play games, with many ranking gaming as their favourite pastime, ahead of surfing the internet and watching TV.

Young men between the ages of 13 and 19 spend on average 11 hours per week playing games, and boys as young as eight admit to gaming seven and a half hours a week. The findings from TNS and demonstrate that gaming could soon start to replace the internet and TV as the country’s favourite pastime, and has already overtaken reading newspapers and magazines. Even the historically smaller gaming segments are getting in on the act: 86% of girls play games and an astonishing 42% of people over the age of 50 say that they spend more time gaming than reading magazines.

Despite the downturn hitting Britain harder than many of its European neighbours, Brits are also the most likely to pay for games. While 10% of gamers in the Netherlands admit to regularly making illegal copies of popular console games, only 4% of Brits do the same.

The study also reveals that mobile phones and social networks such as MySpace and Facebook are the game platforms of the future, although they are yet to properly take hold in the UK, where only 11% of the gamers on social networks indicate that these are their primary gaming destinations – less than half that of the US. In the UK, the introduction of the iPhone and other smartphones pushed the mobile telephone as a gaming platform up to 20% in the last year, double the level achieved in other European countries.

According to Stephen Palmer, Group Director at TNS Technology, “Gaming has rapidly expanded in popularity and now appeals to as wide an audience as TV and the internet. In several cases, young and old are even moving away from traditional media and spend their free time playing games instead. The variety of games on offer has drawn in segments of the population that would not ordinarily be associated with gaming, which has turned the traditional view of the ‘gamer’ on its head. With the pressure put on media through advertising cuts, gaming is emerging as the forum through which to target consumers of the future.”

Peter Warman, from adds, “With the growing part of games being played and paid for online there is no other way to monitor the complete games market than asking the people themselves”.

Notes to editors

The 2009 UK National Gamers Survey ( is part of a series of identical national nationwide surveys conducted by TNS and in the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the United States amongst more than 13,000 respondents in total. The series is branded Today’s Gamers ( Five firms were partners in the survey's launch: RealGames (Zylom), Keesing Games, RTL Group, GamePoint and SPIL GAMES. Both the national and international reports are available as of this moment as well as raw data for custom queries. The UK survey was conducted among 2,226 respondents aged eight and above from June to July 2009.

For further information, including full summary of the report as well as individual graphs, please see

About TNS NIPO Technology and

TNS NIPO Technology conducts ICT market research related to developments in the areas of internet, telephone communication, and consumer electronics for the sectors of both consumers and businesses. is the leading international information source for games, prospects, partnerships, jobs and investment opportunities related to the games industry. It provides matchmaking services and also assists investors, advertisers, traditional publishers and media firms in entering or participating in this dynamic market. also publishes authoritative market intelligence on games and gamers.

About TNS

TNS, who recently merged with Research International, is the world’s largest custom research agency delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to its clients so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specialising in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 75 countries, TNS is part of Kantar, the world’s largest research, insight and consultancy network. Please visit for more information.

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The Kantar Group is one of the world's largest research, insight and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of more than 20 specialist companies – including the recently-acquired TNS – the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and actionable insights for the global business community. Its 26,500 employees work across 80 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. The Kantar Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WPP Group plc. For further information, please visit

Press information

Lucy Kamall

Character Communications Ltd.

Tel: 01376 537087


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