Strong demand for computer and video games: sales up 7 per cent

• Total sales of computer and video games and gaming hardware unchanged at 2.9 billion euros
• Sales of computer and video games in Germany exceed 2 billion euros for the first time
• Lower sales for games consoles and gaming peripherals
• Segment for virtual products and additional content sees strong 17 per cent increase
 
Berlin, 4 April 2017 – The market for digital games reported further strong growth in 2016: games for PCs, consoles, handheld devices, smartphones and tablets, and fees for online networks like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold generated sales of 2.13 billion euros last year. This represents an increase of 7 per cent over 2015, when sales were 1.99 billion euros. By contrast, the market for games consoles and associated peripherals like gamepads saw a 15 per cent decline to 747 million euros. These are the figures published today by the BIU, the German Games Industry Association, based on data collected by market research company GfK. The market as a whole, consisting of computer and video games, fees for online networks, hybrid toys, games consoles and peripherals, remained stable in 2016, generating sales of 2.9 billion euros in Germany – the same as in 2015.

‘The German market for computer and video games grew further in 2016, continuing the positive developments of the past few years.’
Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU

‘The German market for computer and video games grew further in 2016, continuing the positive developments of the past few years,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU. ‘The latest generation of games consoles and handheld devices was still in high demand in 2016, but a decline in average prices per console led to a drop in sales revenue. However, positive stimuli, like updated models of the latest generation of consoles and brand-new devices, give us hope for strong sales in the coming year.’

Significant growth in computer and video games

The various market segments experienced different trends in 2016. Sales of computer and video games and revenue from fees for online networks went up 7 per cent to 2.13 billion euros, with games for PCs, consoles and mobile devices exceeding the 2 billion euro mark in Germany for the first time. The greatest proportion of sales revenue continues to come from classic sales of games for PCs, consoles and mobile devices. This segment generated around 1.18 billion euros in 2016. Compared with 2015, when sales amounted to 1.21 billion euros, this represents a slight decrease of 2 per cent. By contrast, as in previous years, sales of virtual products and additional content grew rapidly and were up 17 per cent compared with 2015, at 659 million euros. Free-to-play games in particular rely on sales of virtual products and additional content. The games themselves do not cost anything to play, but gamers can pay to unlock additional levels or buy virtual currency. Sales of game subscriptions also continued to increase and were up 19 per cent at 173 million euros. Revenue from fees for online networks such as PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and EA Access also rose considerably. These services generated sales of 114 million euros in 2016, compared with 77 million euros in 2015 – an increase of 48 per cent. Sales of hybrid toys fell. These collectible figures that add virtual content to games represent the smallest segment of the German games market. They brought in only 28 million euros in 2016, compared with 32 million euros in 2015.
 
‘A closer look at the German games market reveals strong dynamics: whereas the classic games market was largely stable, sales of virtual products and additional content increased rapidly, as did revenue from fees for online networks,’ explains Falk. ‘While digitisation has created serious challenges for many media industries, the games industry has managed to conquer new platforms like smartphones and has successfully established new business models, as the popularity of free-to-play games so clearly demonstrates.’

About the market data

The data used is based on surveys conducted by the GfK Consumer Panel, GfK Entertainment and GfK POS Measurement. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s digital games market are unique in terms both of their quality and their global use. They include an ongoing survey of 25,000 consumers who are representative of the German population as a whole regarding their digital game purchasing and usage habits, and also a consumer panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games. Please note: discrepancies between this year’s sales revenue figures for the hardware market in 2015 and the figures provided last year are the result of adjustments made to the range of products covered. It now includes gaming peripherals such as gamepads.

About the BIU

The BIU, the German Games Industry Association, is the association of the German computer and video games industry. Its 26 members are developers, publishers and suppliers of digital games. Together, they represent over 85 per cent of the German market. The BIU is, for example, the organiser of gamescom. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, the BIU answers all questions on the topic of digital games.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware e. V.
Charlottenstraße 62
10117 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408779-11
Email: puppe@biu-online.de
www.biu-online.de
Twitter: @BIU_eV
Facebook.com/BIUeV

Martin Puppe
Leiter Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
+49 30 240 8779 20