Fewer employees, more companies: German games industry facing major challenges

• Number of people working in the German games industry falls by 13 per cent to 11,140
• In total, 460 jobs secured by games
• Number of development studios rises by 4 per cent
• International Games Week Berlin to take place from 24 to 30 April
 
Berlin, 19 March 2017 – The German games industry can look back on an eventful year. For example, the number of people working in the computer and video games industry in Germany fell by 13 per cent over the past twelve months: the number of people involved in developing and publishing games in Germany currently totals 11,140, compared with 12,839 in 2016. At the same time, the number of companies developing games has increased by 4 per cent to 460. This was announced by the BIU, the German Games Industry Association, at today’s press conference ahead of next week’s International Games Week Berlin. This data comes from the industry’s database, the Games Industry Directory. International Games Week Berlin will take place from 24 to 30 April and comprises eleven events. Approximately 15,000 visitors are expected to attend.

“There is still demand for games to be developed in Germany, in spite of the current difficult situation, as demonstrated by the rising number of development studios.”
Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU

‘2016 was a highly challenging year for the German games industry. Numerous companies had to lay people off as a result of increasing competition and underlying conditions for the development of games in Germany which are unfortunately still nowhere near competitive compared with elsewhere in the world,’ says BIU Managing Director Felix Falk. ‘There is still demand for games to be developed in Germany, in spite of the current difficult situation, as demonstrated by the rising number of development studios. We urgently need modern media funding that goes above and beyond the traditional film genre, to promote the production of new audiovisual media such as games too. This is the only way companies can be given the opportunity to achieve sustainable growth and be globally competitive.’

Beschäftige in der deutschen Games-Branche 2017

The decline in employee numbers is not quite as pronounced in other areas related to the games industry, such as trained sales staff in the retail sector, journalists, academics and the employees of authorities and institutions. There are currently around 17,320 people employed in these areas, compared with 18,454 in 2016. This represents a decline of 6 per cent. In total, the German games industry currently therefore secures 28,460 jobs.

Number of games companies in Germany increases to 521

While the number of people working in the German games industry has declined, the number of companies in this sector has actually risen in the same period: there are now 521 developers and publishers in Germany, compared with 510 in 2016.

Beschäftige in der deutschen Games-Branche 2017 2

The number of game developers in particular has increased sharply over the past twelve months. Whereas 441 of the 510 companies in 2016 were involved in developing games, this has since risen to 460 companies. This equates to an increase of more than 4 per cent. It was primarily small development studios that were founded last year, for example by individuals graduating from games studies. Meanwhile, the number of companies operating exclusively as publishers fell by 11 per cent over the same period, from 69 to 61.

About the Games Industry Directory

Developments in the German computer and video games industry are continuously recorded in the industry’s database, the Games Industry Directory. The BIU continuously calculates the industry’s employment situation in Germany using detailed industry observations and research, together with appropriate projections and surveys of experts. The BIU therefore offers the most comprehensive and most detailed overview of the industry in Germany.

About the BIU

The BIU, the German Games Industry Association, is the association of the German computer and video games industry. Its 27 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