Must Play May: how Ukie and ERA are bringing families together

Ukie is working with ERA on its spring promotion, which is designed to bring families together to play the most appropriate and most enjoyable games for them. Ukie discusses the thinking behind the Must Play May initiative.

To the wider world, the video games industry has never been more successful. More people than ever are playing games, they now tackle a broad range of topics and genres across a number of platforms and they offer positive benefits to the globally connected communities of millions who play them safely and sensibly every day.

With this great success however comes ever greater scrutiny about how the sector makes and sells games and keeps consumers safe. And in reality, success in the games sector remains difficult to achieve with ever more services and content competing for players’ time.

So it’s important that we keep reminding consumers about how amazing games are and how diverse their content is. And it’s equally important to make sure anyone playing games understands how game businesses make money, how long to play for, how age ratings work and what parental controls are. We need to make sure that anyone asking questions about games can find the answers that they’re looking for as easily and transparently as possible.

So we have helped put together Must Play May, a month-long in-store and online promotion run by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) throughout the month of May, designed to bring family and friends closer together over the bank holidays and half term. Highlighting the biggest and best games on the market, the campaign shows there’s something out there for everyone, while celebrating the positive aspects of video games.


“We need to make sure that anyone asking questions about games can find the answers that they’re looking for as easily and transparently as possible.”


The campaign has also commissioned a survey of 2,000 adults that further shows the reach of games and range of ages of people regularly playing them. The findings demonstrate that 85 per cent of under 35s regularly play games. And people do not grow out of the pastime with 75 per cent of 35-44 year olds regularly gaming as a way to relax or spend time with their children.

53 per cent of people of all ages (from young children to pensioners) have played video games in the past five years, rising to 60 per cent of men but also 45 per cent of women. While many do it for fun or to keep their minds active, others admit it has become a crucial way to interact with their children and grandchildren, either face to face or remotely. This shows that playing games can enable a whole family to participate meaningfully in an activity that can test their knowledge, reflexes and puzzle-solving ability regardless of age.

These findings show that it is important for games businesses and retailers to find a way of working closer together and ensure they are catering their campaigns at varied demographics. Retailers are changing the ways in which they use their existing space to enable new services and new formats. Because of that change, more opportunities are becoming available that greatly benefit the publishers who can be more creative in the way they are approaching their customers.

We hope that the Must Play May campaign can bring more people to play games and help them to realise the breadth of content, creativity and fun for the whole family that games can offer today.

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