Four out of ten games are purchased as downloads

Four out of ten games are purchased as downloads
Wireless headphones on laptop keyboard. Music and gaming concept.

• Share of game purchases comprised by downloads increased to 42 per cent
• PC gamers are the primary buyers of downloaded games
• German games market grew to 3.3 billion euros in 2017
Berlin, 16 April 2018 – In 2017, four out of ten games (42 per cent) for PC, games consoles and handhelds sold in Germany were purchased in download format. Compared to 2016 (39 per cent), the share of downloads increased slightly, by 3 percentage points. The share of revenue generated by downloads, on the other hand, grew slightly less: In 2017, it amounted to 29 per cent, which is two percentage points higher than in 2016 (27 per cent). These figures were published today by game – the German Games Industry Association at a press conference about gamesweekberlin, based on data from market research institute GfK. There are significant differences between the platforms, however: PC gamers use download portals such as Origin, Steam and Uplay particularly frequently. Nearly 8 out of 10 PC games purchased in 2017 were bought as downloads – which is an increase of 10 percentage points compared to 2016. For PlayStation, Switch and Xbox, on the other hand, only around one quarter of all games (23 per cent) were purchased in download format.
‘While most games for PC, games consoles and handhelds were bought on physical media, download portals are becoming an increasingly important alternative,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘Purchasing games by download has created a range of new opportunities, such as early-access games. Smaller teams of developers, in particular, are taking advantage of the opportunity to offer an early, unfinished version of their game for purchase at a particularly low price. This allows them to get feedback from players at an early stage, as well as to acquire additional interim financing for developing the final version of the game.’

Download-Anteile 2017
Share of game purchases comprised by downloads 2017

German games industry tops the 3-billion-euro mark for the first time

In 2017, the German market for computer and video games experienced an enormous surge in growth: compared to 2016, the overall market grew by 15 per cent, to more than 3.3 billion euros – meaning that the German games market topped the 3-billion-euro mark for the first time ever. The market for games consoles and peripherals grew particularly strongly in 2017, expanding by 26 per cent, to 938 million euros. Revenue from games for PCs, consoles, handhelds, smartphones and tablets also rose significantly in 2017: whilst games software generated 2.2 billion euros in revenue in 2016, that number climbed to nearly 2.4 billion euros in 2017 – an increase of 12 per cent.
In light of this positive market trend, Managing Director of game Felix Falk is calling for the games industry subsidies agreed upon by the governing German coalition to be implemented as soon as possible. This is the only way for German game developers to have the opportunity to benefit from the dynamic growth of the games market in Germany and around the world, he says. Recently, computer and video games produced by German companies only achieved a market share of approximately 6 per cent in the domestic market.

About the market data

The data used is based on surveys conducted by the GfK Consumer Panel, GfK Entertainment and GfK POS Measurement. 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 e-sports event organisers, institutions of higher education 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 – Verband der deutschen Games-Branche e.V.
Charlottenstraße 62
10117 Berlin
Tel.: 030 2408779-20
Twitter: @game_verband

Martin Puppe
+49 30 240 87 79 20