Gamers are cutting back on new purchases and playing late at night to avoid peak electricity bills amid the cost of living crisis.
A TalkTalk study of more than 2,000 UK gamers found that more than three quarters (78%) said they had changed their behaviour to help save money.
The study found that more than half of respondents (52%) said they were sharing new game purchases with friends, while 62% said they didn’t buy new games at all – instead focusing on second-hand purchases or freebies.
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Energy costs were cited as a key concern, with 68% turning off devices rather than putting them on standby, and 78% saying they would play late into the night to avoid peak electricity costs.
At the same time, nearly two-thirds (63%) are buying fewer new clothes and shoes to keep playing the game.
Gamers see video games as an important part of their social life, with 41% saying it is their primary form of socializing.
A survey of 2,000 gamers in August found that almost one in 10 wanted to stop playing to avoid rising rates.
Thousands sign up for energy bill trial
More than 300,000 households have signed up to an energy bill trial to save money and reduce the risk of power outages this winter.
Octopus Energy said its 320,000 customers had decided to sign up for the program, which is backed by National Grid.
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Participants will be paid if they reduce energy on certain days during peak hours, in the hope that this will ease the strain on the grid at a time when supplies are expected to be tight this winter.
Jonathan Kini, managing director of TalkTalk, said: “This study shows the impact of the rising cost of living on the gaming community.”