Further decline: number of employees in games industry’s core labour market decreases

Further decline: number of employees in games industry’s core labour market decreases
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  • Number of employees in game development and distribution once again falls by 4 per cent
  • 622 companies develop and distribute games in Germany
  • Games industry provides approximately 30,000 jobs in Germany

Berlin, 24 August 2020 – The number of employees who develop and distribute games in Germany has fallen for the second time in a row. These sectors of the games industry employed 10,487 people in 2019, but the number now stands at just 10,071. This represents a decline of 4 per cent. The games industry’s core labour market also shrank during the previous year, even though the German games market has grown significantly in recent years, most recently recording further growth of 6 per cent, taking it to 6.2 billion euros. These are the figures released today by game – the German Games Industry Association, based on data collected by gamesmap.de. The games industry’s extended labour market, which includes people employed by service providers, retailers, educational establishments, the media and the public sector, grew by 5 per cent, however. These sectors currently employ 18,164 people. Consequently, the games industry in Germany still provides a total of approximately 30,000 jobs.

An international comparison makes it clear that the German games industry has an exceptional amount of untapped potential. Canada, for instance, has only half the population of Germany and has been providing significant funding to its domestic games industry for several years – the Canadian games industry employs 27,700 people, or nearly three times as many as the sector in Germany. If these numbers are extrapolated to apply to Germany, they indicate up to 60,000 potential jobs in the core labour market of the German games industry. Likewise, the United Kingdom, which has approximately 15 million fewer residents than Germany, has nearly twice as many people (20,430) working in computer and video game development and distribution.
‘Employee figures indicate that at the moment, we are treading water in Germany,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘Whilst the funding provided by the federal government has laid vital groundwork for growth in the German games industry and established a connection to international games development, the crucial funding programme has not yet been rolled out, meaning that the anticipated growth stimulus is still lacking. This makes it clear that there are very high expectations of the EU-notified funding guideline, which will allow us to tap the enormous economic potential of the German games industry. When we tap that potential, employment figures will increase, as well.’
The number of companies in Germany developing and marketing games increased slightly: whilst 614 companies were active in these segments in 2019, that number has now risen to 622. This marks the continuation of a trend seen in recent years: the traditional distinction between developers and publishers is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Growing numbers of companies are developing and publishing their own games. Last year, 312 companies stated that they exclusively developed games; that number has now dropped to 208. At the same time, the number of companies that both develop and publish games has risen from 272 to 383. The various digital sales channels make a major contribution to this trend. Consumers are increasingly purchasing games directly online, either from app stores or download shops on PCs and gaming consoles. This has led to a decrease in distribution costs whilst giving game developers the ability to deliver their games straight to the players.

About the market data

Please note: The methodology of gamesmap.de has undergone extensive revisions, including optimising the data collection method and updating definitions. Employment data from 2019 has been retroactively adjusted in accordance with these changes, and differs from the data reported in the previous year as a result. This means that employment data from before 2019 can only be compared with the current figures to a limited degree.
The online directory gamesmap.de records developments in the German games industry on an ongoing basis. game continuously calculates the industry’s employment situation in Germany using detailed industry observations and research, together with appropriate projections and surveys of experts.

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.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
game – Verband der deutschen Games-Branche e. V.
Friedrichstraße 165
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Email: martin.puppe@game.de
Twitter: @game_verband
Instagram: game_verband

Martin Puppe
+49 30 240 87 79 20