More UK women are playing video games than men, marking a significant shift in the industry's traditional demographics, according to new research.

The study, in which 4,000 UK residents were surveyed, found that women now represent 52% of the UK's gaming community, a rise of three points from three years ago.

According to the study, carried out by Populus for the Internet Advertising Bureau, there are 33.5 million Britons playing video games, 69% of the country.

The data also indicated a rise in older gamers, with more people over 44 playing games, than children or teenagers.

The changing demographics of the previously teenage male industry is widely credited to the enormous popularity of mobile games like Candy Crush and 2048.

Unlike the console games of previous generations, these mobile offerings are accessible, intuitive, and convenient.

Mobile is the preferred platform, polling ahead of computers, consoles and tablets respectively, and puzzle games the most popular genre, beating out shooters and adventure games.

Video games by age
More old people are playing games than ever before Internet Advertising Bureau

More than half of the adult females claimed to play mobile puzzle games.

"The internet and mobile devices have changed the gaming landscape forever," said Steve Chester, Director of Data and Industry Programmes at the Internet Advertising Bureau.

"They've brought down the barriers to entry, making gaming far more accessible, and opened it up to a whole new audience. In the past you needed to go out and buy an expensive console and the discs on top to get a decent experience, now you can just download a free app."

In terms of time-spent gaming, kids and teenagers are way out in front of their adult counterparts, with 8-15-year-olds recording around 20 hours a week.

The average Briton plays games for six hours a week, accounting for 11% of their media consumption – around the same as social media, and just a bit less than music.

Favourite games
Puzzle games like Candy Crush are the most popular Internet Advertising Bureau

The most time consuming games are online titles like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty.

Despite the move to digital games sold in app stores on a range of platforms and devices, disc-based games are still selling, with 29% reported to have bought new discs in 2014, and 21% second hand.

The survey's purpose was to take the temperature of in-game advertisements. 61% of respondents said the ads in games are no problem, so long as they are not paying for the game.