Approximately 9 million Germans pre-order computer and video games

Vater und Sohn an der Spielekonsole

• One out of every four gamers pre-orders computer and video games
• Online pre-orders of games are particularly popular
• Downloads have become an alternative form of purchasing
Berlin, 3 August 2016 – Pre-ordering computer and video games is very popular in Germany. Approximately 9 million Germans, or one out of four gamers (26 per cent), pre-order their games weeks or even months before the official release date so that that they can play them right on the day they come out. This was the conclusion of a survey of internet users aged 14 and older conducted by market research institute GfK on behalf of the BIU, the German Games Industry Association. The titles in question – such as major releases like the ones presented at gamescom from 17 to 21 August – are pre-ordered online particularly frequently (23 per cent). In addition to numerous online retailers, growing numbers of download platforms are offering the option to pre-order games. Titles pre-ordered in this way are often automatically downloaded before the release date and unlocked on the official day of publication. According to the survey, pre-orders from bricks-and-mortar retailers are much rarer: just four per cent of gamers make use of this option.

‘There is no other medium in which users look forward to release dates as enthusiastically as computer and video games.’
Dr. Maximilian Schenk, Managing Director of the BIU
‘There is no other medium in which users look forward to release dates as enthusiastically as computer and video games. To see this, all you have to do is take a look at gamescom, where many video games can be tried out in the weeks and months leading up to their release,’ explains Dr Maximilian Schenk, Managing Director of the BIU. ‘By pre-ordering their favourite titles, gamers have the opportunity to get special bonuses and limited collector’s editions that include numerous extras such as art books, soundtracks and collectible figures. Pre-ordering guarantees that game fans will be able to play their games on the release date – even when the stores are sold out.’

Download platforms have become a popular alternative

Download platforms for games play an important role in game sales, and not just for pre-orders. Generally speaking, these sorts of platforms have become an important alternative to physical media for the sale of computer and video games in Germany. For example, in 2015, approximately one third of all titles for PC and consoles (33 per cent) were purchased via download, and 21 per cent of all expenditures for PC and console games were comprised by downloads. Download portals are popular with users because of their convenient accessibility, broad range of titles, and attractive pricing campaigns, as well as the high availability of older titles.
‘Download platforms for games have become a popular alternative to bricks-and-mortar retail,’ explains Dr Maximilian Schenk. ‘They play a particularly important role for cheaper titles priced at up to 20 euros. 71 per cent of all download purchases are games in this price category. Full-price games or collector’s editions, on the other hand, are generally still purchased from bricks-and-mortar retailers.’

Note on market data

The data is the result of a survey of more than 2,000 German-speaking internet users aged 14 and older conducted by market research and opinion polling institute GfK. All data is representative.

About the BIU

The BIU, the German Games Industry Association, is the association of the German computer and video games industry. Its 26 members are developers, publishers and suppliers of digital games. Together, they represent over 85 per cent of the German market. The BIU is, for example, the organiser of gamescom. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, the BIU answers all questions on the topic of digital games.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware e. V.
Charlottenstraße 62
10117 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408779-11
Twitter: @game_eV

Martin Puppe
Head of PR
+49 30 240 8779 20