Germany is Europe’s largest gaming market with over 34 million computer or video gamers – a number growing by the minute – and it has seen a greater surge of online games than any other European country.
Statistical data also dispels the notion that this is solely a market for bored teenagers and geeks: the average age of a German gamer is 35, while the fastest-growing (and biggest) group of players is the 50-plus bracket, according to statistics from the former Bundesverband für Interaktive Software (BIU) for 2016. It’s a huge market of willing customers who are ready and waiting to be entertained, and is full of niches to be explored and new values to be created.
Rapid market developments
Perhaps in response to this – and befitting an industry that can hardly be regarded as niche any more – the two industry associations, BIU and GAME, merged at the end of January under a new moniker: “game – the German Games Industry Association.”
“It is a historic day for the German games industry as a whole,” says Felix Falk, Managing Director of the new organization. “The forward-looking merger of the two associations unites the industry, enabling us to advocate jointly, and therefore even more persuasively and powerfully, for the interests of the entire German games industry.”
Those interests are significant. Germany has the most internet users in Europe and the largest physical population, and therefore holds significant potential for more business.
Its mobile device market is also growing rapidly: traditional sales of physical or downloaded games accounted for 63.2 per cent of revenues in a €1.9bn market in 2015, according to game.
The German games market is founded on a winning combination of moderate costs, excellent infrastructure and a large talent pool of technology specialists, which is why Germany’s digital hubs in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich are attracting so many innovative startups.
But it’s the multiple niches that exist within this market, and the opportunity to create new high-value ones, that make Germany so appealing to investors and international gaming companies.