The growth of digital gaming has grown exponentially over the last few years. However, increasing download sizes and the continuous need for updates are making online games less accessible.
Research carried out by the independent broadband switching site, Broadband Genie has revealed that 2.68 million gamers (ref 1) have a broadband package with a data usage cap which could impact their ability to download and play games. Furthermore, over half of those that play online still experience lag.
· More than half (52%) of gamers regularly play online
· More than 25% of gamers prefer to buy their games online, 35% have no preference
· Of those that buy digitally, 36% have an advertised speed of 24mb or less, and 13% have speeds less than 8Mb
· More than half of online gamers (59%) experience lag, with 10% of these gamers experiencing lag very frequently. That equates to more than 7 million online gamers across the UK (ref 2)
Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie said, “Internet speeds are simply not keeping pace with advances in gaming technology. If you take a release like Batman Arkham Knight, it needs approximately 30GB to download – the same rings true for the boxed PC version. 30GB can take anywhere between 6 to 10 hours to download at 10Mbps and around 3 hours to download at the latest Ofcom average speed of 22.8Mb.”
This data usage exceeds the monthly download limit for many of the cheaper broadband deals, as well as some of the more expensive contracts (ref 3).
“It’s a big problem for many online gamers. If they exceed their monthly download cap, they’re likely to incur additional charges or a restriction to their service,” said Rob.
Other findings from Broadband Genie’s research:
· Of those that experienced lag online (59%), 29% use ADSL, 34% fibre and 29% cable
· Of those that play online and don’t experience lag (41%), 34% were Virgin users, 23% Sky, 22% BT
· Of those that play online, 18% play on average between 1-5 hours a week, 14% between 6-10 hours and only 6% play more than 21 hours a week
· 30% play action adventure games, 21% FPS, 17% strategy and 11% simulator