// Number of hours spent using ecommerce platform Steam rose 88% in 2018
// UK gamers had second largest playtime in the world last year
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The number of people buying and playing games through digital platforms rose dramatically in 2018, as gamers continue to shun physical formats.
According to research conducted by UK online gaming retailer Green Man Gaming, the number of in-game hours spent on Steam, an online platform where users can purchase, download and play video games, rose 88 per cent last year.
The data, collected from 5 million customers and Steam community members, shows in-game playtime is at an all-time high, with the UK spending a combined total of 92 million hours gaming last year, the equivalent of 10,000 years.
“Video games as a form of entertainment has truly come into their own with revenues 2.5 times that of the film industry and 6 times the size of digital music,” Green Man Gaming’s founder and chief executive Paul Sulyok said.
“Gamers are playing even more games than ever before and our community data shows this with an 88% increase in playtime year on year.
“We are truly living in the golden age of video game entertainment today and I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring.”
Its findings were supported by a recent report from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), which found that gaming accounted for more than half of the total entertainment market for the first-time last year, seeing a 12.5 per cent growth in digital sales, while its physical sales stood relatively firm dropping just 2.8 per cent.
ERA’s chief executive Kim Bayley added: “The games industry has been incredibly effective in taking advantage of the potential of digital technology to offer new and compelling forms of entertainment.
“Despite being the youngest of our three sectors, it is now by far the biggest.”