There are many great live events to go and experience in the UK each week and throughout the year. For people to become dedicated fans of these events, they need a way to connect with it when it’s convenient for them, which is where online and console games come into the equation.
Through gaming, people can immerse themselves in the topic, learn all of the intricacies and have some fun with it, leading to them wanting to go to the live event. In the UK, this can easily be seen with three forms of live entertainment which are on the rise, two of which are sports, the other of which is a form of gaming.
So, let’s look into the games that people who want to get more of the action have been sinking into, further strengthening their fandom and propelling the trends.
Online Console Games Fuelling the Trends
An old favourite making waves online and in-house
Coming into the 2010s, a former UK favourite looked to be on its way out. With an ageing audience and being slow to jump on the internet bandwagon, bingo was fading away across the country. But just as we looked to be calling time on bingo, it started to make a comeback.
The classic game has developed into a very popular pastime once again thanks to quickly adopting the internet and integrating online brands with land-based brands. It was found in 2016 by Sport England that 1.9 million Brits played bingo monthly, while only 1.7 million played tennis each month.
Bingo becoming accessible online is the decisive factor behind its increased all-around popularity. But it wasn’t merely making games available to those on the internet which spurred bingo back to life; it was allowing for many different types of payment methods, having a broader range of game varieties, and offering live support to bring about a complete and convenient gaming experience on the online bingo sites, which has led to it earning a large audience. That same audience then started to seek land-based bingo halls in their spare time with their friends, fuelled by their experiences online.
EA Sports’ titles helping the UK trends
One of the most popular sports games in the UK is the annual FIFA game from EA Sports, which helps younger people to connect with the immensely popular sport of football. In the game, users can search the world for the biggest stars and the top up-and-coming prospects, giving them a much deeper understanding of the modern game.
With sports that aren’t as inherent in the UK, the EA Sports titles also help to establish an audience and grow their knowledge of the sport. The first example here is that of ice hockey. While the sport isn’t played in schools to develop a fan base from a young age, ice hockey has become the country’s most-watched indoor sport, only trailing football and rugby as the third most popular winter sport according to the Elite Ice Hockey League.
On the face of it, ice hockey can be a tricky game to comprehend given the line changes, acceptance of fighting in some circumstances, offside rule, and the way that penalties work, but through the annual NHL game, users can intuitively learn the rules and become accustomed to the ways of the sport. The game helps fans and potential fans to enjoy and learn the sport without needing to take part, leading to interest in watching their local teams live or on Premier Sports.
It’s a similar situation with the NFL trying to develop a UK fan base. As American football is so unlike any other sport in the UK and features many intricacies, such as the extensive rulebook and many play calls, having the game Madden, that walks people through the game and terms, can help to grow the audience. As shown by The Independent, the NFL’s visits to London have proven to be very popular, so having an accessible method of enjoying the sport outside of the league’s few annual appearances is key to maintaining the fan base.
Online and console games aren’t at war with their live counterparts; they’re the fuel by which a larger audience has developed in the UK. With a fun way to learn more about the game, more people can be transformed into fans.