New research shows mobile gaming will dominate Christmas and takes the stress out of family gatherings

Gaming on the go will be the most popular form of gaming this Christmas, according to new research from global gaming marketing company Livewire, with three quarters of Brits saying they will embrace their favourite titles on the move over the festive period. In a clear indication that holiday gaming isn’t just a brief distraction, gamers are also expecting to game for longer and use gaming to escape the once a year family get togethers, immersing themselves in the comforting glow of their digital screens.

According to the new Livewire research, carried out in partnership with market research and insights platform, PureSpectrum, 74% of Brits say that mobile gaming is their preferred platform. This rises to 77% in Australia and 79% in the US, signalling a major shift away from the traditional board games and jigsaw puzzles of the past. And gamers in all three regions are expecting to game for longer, up to 1.6 times longer than at other times of the year. Gaming is seen as an effective form of stress relief as family reunions loom, with gaming emerging as the ultimate stress reliever for 30% of players in the US and 25% in the UK and Australia.

Social gaming will be a popular pastime over the Christmas period, with 80% of male players in all three regions anticipating the camaraderie of multiple friends. Most are planning to connect up not only with those they’ll see in person, but also with friends from afar.

Seventy percent of female players say they are looking forward to playing with their families, with more than a fifth agreeing that Christmas is the perfect time to indulge in more gaming sessions.

Playing alone also features strongly in the research, as an important part of gaming over Christmas.

“Playing alone remains popular, offering moments of personal joy and exploration, but the message from our research is clear: the holiday time offers more opportunities for social connections and playing with family and friends is a shared delight,” said Tori Horobin from Livewire.

“Gamers will be gaming on the go and for longer, using the excuse of a riveting game to enable them to escape the inevitable family get-togethers.”

According to the research, Call of Duty remains the most popular choice for men in all regions. In the UK, EA FC 24 and Fortnite also feature prominently in the male gaming experience. In the US other popular games include Fortnite, NBA 2K, Minecraft and Mortal Combat. Australian male gamers also opt for Call of Duty, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Mario Kart, with 77% preferring to play with friends, yet Call of Duty stands tall across the board.

For male players, a shared preference for social gaming is evident. In the US, titles like Fortnite, NBA 2K, Minecraft, and Mortal Kombat take the spotlight, while Call of Duty remains the evergreen favourite.

In the UK, over 90% of female gamers want to game with their families, favouring titles like Mario Kart and choosing Candy Crush as their festive mobile favourite. In the US, female gamers embrace a wide variety, including Call of Duty, Fortnite, Mario Kart, Roblox, Minecraft, and The Sims. Candy Crush takes center stage for the 82% of female players planning to game on mobile during Christmas. In Australia, female gamers enjoy family-centric titles like Mario Kart, Fortnite, and Minecraft, with Candy Crush reigning supreme for the 85% playing on mobile.

“2023 has been an exciting year for gaming, “said Tori Horobin at Livewire. “Aside from top tier titles like Zelda, Spider-Man, Alan Wake and Diablo seeing new releases, Fortnite saw record numbers queuing to see its live event which included a performance from Eminem. The momentum of this year is definitely going to carry through into 2024 and beyond.”