• Nearly 18 million people in Germany play games with others
• One in four gamers in Germany could imagine getting involved in local eSports clubs
• Awareness of virtual reality is growing fast
• gamescom takes place from 22 to 26 August in Cologne
Berlin, 16 August 2017 – The market for computer and video games is booming in Germany. In the first half of 2017, sales revenue from games for PCs, consoles, handheld devices, smartphones and tablets grew by 11 per cent to around 1.08 billion euros. These figures were announced today by the BIU, the German Games Industry Association, at a press conference ahead of gamescom, which starts next week. Approximately half of the revenue (509 million euros, 47 per cent) was generated by sales of digital games on physical data carriers or via download. The market segment for virtual products and additional content also continued to grow rapidly in the first half of 2017, increasing by 26 per cent to 400 million euros. Revenue from game subscriptions and fees for online networks also rose by 26 per cent to a total of 168 million euros.
‘The strong market growth highlights the continuing increasing economic importance of games: no other medium has managed to grow as steadily and dynamically in recent years,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU, the German Games Industry Association which also organises gamescom. ‘Our latest survey shows why computer and video games are so popular: whether people are playing games with family and friends or taking part in eSports, games are the most sociable medium of our time!’
Nearly 18 million people in Germany play games with others
‘Just play together’ is the theme of this year’s gamescom. The importance of the social aspect of gaming is revealed in a recent survey commissioned by the BIU, which found that four in ten gamers in Germany play games with others. That’s a total of just under 18 million people. What’s noticeable is that younger gamers, who have grown up with sharing on social networks, are particularly keen on playing with others: three quarters (74 per cent) of 16- to 24-year-old gamers make use of the multiplayer capabilities of current games. And people are not just playing with others online – about one in three gamers (36 per cent) meet up with others to play games. Among 16- to 24-year-olds this figure is as high as two thirds (63 per cent), with a similar proportion (57 per cent) among the 25- to 34-year-olds.
eSports are becoming a mass sport
Nowhere is the social aspect of games more noticeable than in eSports. Thousands of eSports fans gather in stadiums to cheer on their teams live, while millions watch livestreams of championships and leagues online. gamescom is picking up on this development by focusing on the trend ‘professionalisation of eSports’. Awareness of eSports in Germany has risen by five percentage points to 29 per cent in the space of a year. More than half (56 per cent) of 16- to 24-year-olds are aware of eSports. But it’s not just the professional eSports segment that’s growing – more and more university sports groups and local clubs are being set up in Germany, in places like Berlin, Leipzig and Magdeburg. Around one in four gamers (23 per cent) in Germany could imagine playing an active role in an amateur eSports club. Among the 16- to 24-year-olds this proportion increases to around one in three (35 per cent), with a similar proportion among the 25- to 34-year-olds (33 per cent).
Interest in virtual reality headsets is growing
The release of virtual reality headsets for PC and console games last year has resulted in a significant growth in awareness and interest. Within the space of a year, the proportion of those aged over 16 who are aware of virtual reality headsets rose from 46 to 60 per cent. The new headsets can significantly improve the game experience and are part of this year’s gamescom trend ‘innovations for unlimited game worlds’. Nearly one in two people (44 per cent) can now imagine using virtual reality headsets for computer and video games. Among the group of 16- to 24-year-olds, this figure rises to three quarters (73 per cent). The number of people who could imagine purchasing virtual reality headsets in the next six months has also grown, rising from 21 to 25 per cent in the space of a year.
For more information about the theme and the trends at gamescom 2017, see the following link: https://www.biu-online.de/en/blog/2017/08/17/gamescom-2017-puts-the-focus-on-cooperative-play/
About the market and survey data
All the survey data, unless otherwise specified, comes from an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH between 27 July 2017 and 3 August 2017, in which 2,000 people participated. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 16 and older. The data used is based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s digital games market are unique in terms of both 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, as well as a consumer panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.
About gamescom 2017
gamescom opens for all interested trade visitors on Tuesday, 22 August 2017, and for the general public on Wednesday, 23 August 2017. Last year, 877 companies from 54 countries presented their latest products. In 2016, a total of 345,000 visitors from 97 countries used gamescom as an entertainment and business platform. This makes gamescom the largest global computer and video games event as well as Europe’s largest business platform for the games industry. With the business area, the entertainment area, the devcom, the gamescom congress and the gamescom city festival, gamescom offers tailored platforms for all audiences.
Information on Koelnmesse
The Cologne trade fair company has a more than 90-year-old history. In May 1924, the success story of Cologne fairs began with the opening of the first event on the grounds in Cologne-Deutz. During the economic boom of the post-war era, the ‘Rheinische Messe’ rose to a global marketplace. This was achieved through good service, the strong commitment to trade fairs and through a dense network of international contacts. Back then as well as today, Koelnmesse is an important driver for global industries as well as for the regional economy. More information can be found here: www.koelnmesse.de
BIU – the German Games Industry Association
We are the association of the German games industry. Our members are developers and providers of digital games and represent over 85 per cent of the German market. We are the sponsor of gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, we answer questions on topics such as market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the leading location for game development.
BIU, the German Games Industry Association
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408 77911