Games fuel the app economy

Games fuel the app economy
  • 85 per cent of global sales revenue generated by apps comes from game apps
  • In 2015, game apps generated 34.8 billion dollars in global sales revenue
  • American and Japanese companies lead the industry internationally

Berlin, 10 March 2016 – Game apps generate the most sales revenue in smartphone and tablet app stores by a wide margin. Last year, apps in all categories generated 41.1 billion dollars in global sales revenue; 34.8 billion dollars of that total came from game apps – a share of 85 per cent of all sales revenue generated in smartphone and tablet app stores around the globe. Games are also responsible for the majority of sales revenue generated by German app stores – approximately 76 per cent, as reported by BIU, the German Games Industry Association, based on a market analysis compiled by the specialists at App Annie. What’s more, game apps’ dominant role is not expected to change in the coming years. Out of the total 101 billion dollars in sales revenue that apps in all categories are projected to generate in the year 2020, 74.6 billion dollars – or a 74 per cent share of sales revenue – will come from games. ‘Game apps fuel the booming app economy today and will continue to do so in the future,’ says Managing Director of BIU Dr Maximilian Schenk, summarising the results of the analysis. [quotation cite=”Dr. Maximilian Schenk, Managing Director of BIU”] “Game apps fuel the booming app economy today and will continue to do so in the future.[/quotation]‘Game apps are a major factor in the attractiveness of mobile devices, and they open doors for the rest of the app economy.’

Companies from the USA and Japan profit most from the app boom

Currently, companies from the USA and Japan are the primary beneficiaries of the ongoing global app boom. Of the 52 companies that generate the highest sales revenue in app stores across all categories, 17 are from the USA and 16 from Japan. China has also become a top international location for app developers: 9 companies from the Middle Kingdom are among the 52 app providers with the highest sales revenue. Germany, on the other hand, only has 2 companies in that list: Goodgame Studios from Hamburg, and Bertelsmann, which has primarily achieved success in the app stores with an app developed in Canada. Schenk comments: ‘App stores are a new digital economic sector that has arisen in just a few years and is already generating billions in global sales revenue. Germany, however, has thus far not profited nearly enough from this booming international market, as game developers in this country face significant, location-specific competitive disadvantages compared to their international competitors. But game app developers in particular are the most important drivers of the market. If conditions in Germany do not improve, then with a few notable exceptions, we will continue to miss the boat internationally.”

Note on market data:

The data comes from the App Annie mobile app market forecast, which is available at the following link:
Data on the 52 most successful international app publishers can be found at the following link:

About the BIU

BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (German Games Industry Association) is the association of the German computer and video games industry. Its 26 members are developers, publishers and providers of digital games, and they represent over 85 per cent of the German market. The BIU is, for example, the sponsor 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
+49 30 240 87 79 20