A 9 per cent gain: German games market shows significant growth in 2018

• German games market expands to 4.4 billion euros
• Charges for online services and in-game purchases were the largest growth engines in 2018
• ‘Easy access to computer and video games, whether through a subscription and cloud service or as free-to-play titles, is playing an ever greater role.’

Berlin, 28 March 2019 – The German games market made a significant gain in 2018, with sales up 9 per cent from 2017, to a volume of about 4.4 billion euros. These are the figures released today by game, the German Games Industry Association, on the basis of data from the market research firms GfK, GfK Entertainment and App Annie. The largest growth driver was sales through charges for online services, which nearly doubled in one year, to 353 million euros (+97 per cent). Another market segment contributing strongly to the growth was in-game purchases. These increased by 28 per cent, to 1.9 billion euros.
‘The games market in Germany posted repeated strong growth in 2018, once again underscoring its special position amongst the media and culture markets,’ says game Managing Director Felix Falk. ‘A close look at the games market shows that the industry’s great innovative capacity results in a high dynamic in the submarkets: Easy access to computer and video games, whether through a subscription and cloud service or as free-to-play titles, is playing an ever greater role. There is also a continued rise in the importance of the multi-year support of individual titles whose further development is often financed through in-game purchases.’

Submarkets show diverging development

While the submarket for games software grew by around 14 per cent, to a total of 3.5 billion euros, sales of games consoles, handhelds and accessories declined by 8 per cent, to 859 million euros.
The greatest sales were achieved through so-called in-game purchases, which include objects and costumes for one’s playing character, as well as additional missions or new campaigns. Sales in this submarket grew by 28 per cent, to 1.9 billion euros. The traditional purchase of games – either on a data medium or by download – yielded sales of some 1.1 billion euros, a 10 per cent drop from the 2017 level. By contrast, sales through charges for online services nearly doubled, reaching nearly 353 million euros. These include services like PlayStation Plus from Sony Interactive Entertainment and Xbox Live Gold from Microsoft, as well as subscription and cloud gaming services like Origin Access from EA, PlayStation Now from Sony Interactive Entertainment and the Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft. Sales through subscription charges for a single game, however, fell 25 per cent, to 125 million euros.

About the market data

The data used are based on surveys by the GfK Consumer Panel, GfK Entertainment, GfK POS Measurement and App Annie. Please note that, due to a change of service providers and an associated change in methodology, current data cannot be compared with the market data published in 2018. As of this year, the market data for game apps are provided by the app market research specialist 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 consumer 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 companies, institutions and service providers. As the sponsor 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 leading location for game development.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
game – the German Games Industry Association
Charlottenstraße 62
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Email: martin.puppe@game.de
Twitter: @game_verband
Instagram: game_verband

Martin Puppe
Head of PR
+49 30 240 8779 20