Clear increase in the Covid-19 year: German games market grows by 32 per cent

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The German games market set a new record in sales revenue during the Covid-19 year 2020: computer and video games and the related hardware generated approximately 8.5 billion euros in revenue, representing an increase of 32 per cent compared to the previous year. This information was announced today by game – the German Games Industry Association based on data from market research institutes GfK and App Annie. Sales revenue in 2020 saw considerable growth in the areas of both hardware and software, with games consoles, gaming PCs and peripherals achieving roughly 3.2 billion euros in sales. This equates to an increase of 26 per cent compared with 2019. The submarket for computer and video games saw even stronger growth, with revenues of 5.2 billion euros achieved through game purchases, in-game and in-app purchases, subscriptions and charges for online services. As a result, this part of the market managed to grow by 36 per cent compared to the previous year.

‘The unusually strong growth in the games market shows how important games were during the Covid-19 year 2020. They brought millions of people together, enabled players to explore new worlds despite the travel restrictions, supported home schooling or simply provided a welcome diversion amidst the pandemic,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘It wasn’t always possible to meet the strong demand for games consoles or gaming graphic cards, due to limited availability. Many German households upgraded their technical equipment at home during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, so they are now ready for the top games of the coming years.’

 

Growth across all market segments

All segments of the German games market managed to achieve growth in 2020. The strongest increase was posted in sales revenue for in-game and in-app purchases, which grew by 44 per cent within a single year, achieving total sales revenue of over 3.2 billion euros. Charges for online services also saw especially strong growth of 50 per cent to 692 million euros. This segment includes online services, subscriptions and cloud gaming services such as EA Play Pro, Nintendo Switch Online, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass and Ubisoft+. The sale of computer and video games generated more than 1.1 billion euros in revenue, an 11 per cent increase over 2019. Subscriptions to individual games, such as ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Final Fantasy XIV’, resulted in a 44 per cent increase in sales revenue. This market segment thus grew to 163 million euros.

 

About the market data

Please note: GfK has adjusted its definition of hardware designed for games, with the result that the market size comes out higher – also for the figures already reported last year for 2019.

The market data is based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel and App Annie. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s video 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 video game purchasing and usage habits, as well as a retail panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.

 

game – the German Games Industry Association:
We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.

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