As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first few months of this year not only broke records in terms of player numbers on many platforms; the games market also grew significantly during this period. Games and games hardware generated 3.7 billion euros in total revenue during the first half of 2020 in Germany: a 27 per cent increase, as announced today by game – the German Games Industry Association based on data collected by GfK and App Annie. Revenue from in-game purchases rose particularly sharply. In the first half of 2019, these purchases accounted for approximately 1.1 billion euros in revenue, whilst in the first six months of this year, that figure grew to nearly 1.5 billion euros – a 35 per cent increase. In-game purchases include both small charges – to better equip one’s game character, for example – and more expensive content like whole additional campaigns and season passes.
‘Particularly at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when countless contact restrictions were in place, games helped millions of people by keeping them entertained, allowing them to travel through virtual worlds when holidays were cancelled and keeping them in touch with friends and family,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘This strong interest in games is now reflected in a spike in revenue – an exceptionally sharp spike, even for the German games market, which has already been experiencing rapid growth in recent years. It’s also notable that many people have opted to purchase gaming hardware, although revenue in this area typically tends to decline before the launch of a new generation of consoles. All these factors highlight just how important games really are – and not just during the COVID-19 pandemic.’
Games hardware in high demand
As part of the strong growth in the overall market, revenue from games hardware also increased drastically during the first six months of the year. Whilst in the first half of 2019 gaming PCs, games consoles and peripherals generated approximately 1.1 billion euros of revenue, that figure rose to 1.3 billion euros during the same period of this year. This equates to an increase of 21 per cent. And all four sectors of the market grew. Revenue from peripherals for gaming PCs increased particularly significantly; this includes input devices for gaming such as special mice and keyboards, monitors and graphics cards specially tailored to gamers, and virtual reality headsets.
Games help people get through the coronavirus crisis
In the lead-up to this year’s gamescom, game published representative survey data on the playing behaviour of Germans during the coronavirus crisis. The data showed that around one third (35 per cent) of players said they had played more than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic; about one quarter (27 per cent) had played more frequently than usual with family or friends. Overall, more than one quarter (28 per cent) of players said that games have helped them to get through the pandemic better.
About the market data
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 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 retail panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.
The survey data used is based on an online survey by YouGov Deutschland GmbH in which 2,027 persons participated between 27 July and 1 August 2020. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 16 and older.
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.