Growing numbers of game app fans among smartphone users over 30

Growing numbers of game app fans among smartphone users over 30
Digitaler Spielspaß für die ganze Familie
  • Six out of ten app players are 30 years of age and older
  • Greatest user growth in the 50+ age group
  • Sales revenue from game apps rose by 54 per cent to 175 million euros, in the first half of 2015

Berlin, 8 October 2015 – Game apps are a hot trend: this holds increasingly true among older smartphone and tablet users. Today, 59 per cent of the people who play these game apps on mobile devices are 30 or older – approximately 13 million Germans. One year ago, that figure was 54 per cent. The greatest user growth is taking place among players in the 50+ age group. In the first half of 2015, 3.9 million people 50 years of age and older in Germany played games on smartphones and tablets. Compared to the same period of the previous year, this marks an increase of 34 per cent, from 2.9 million. The average age of game app users in Germany is 35, as BIU, the German Games Industry Association, reported based on data compiled by market research institute GfK.
‘The wide selection of particularly beginner-friendly games and the app versions of well-known board and card games help older players overcome any initial reservations and make these games highly attractive to older smartphone and tablet users,’ says BIU Managing Director Dr Maximilian Schenk. [quotation cite=”Dr. Maximilian Schenk, Managing Director of the BIU”] “With their highly intuitive controls and low barriers to entry, game apps are constantly creating new video game fans among all different types of target groups.[/quotation]‘With their highly intuitive controls and low barriers to entry, game apps are constantly creating new video game fans among all different types of target groups.’

Strong growth of game apps in Germany

On the whole, the market for game apps in Germany continues to exhibit dynamic growth. During the first half of 2015, game apps generated 175 million euros in sales revenue – an increase of 54 per cent compared to the same period during the previous year, when sales revenue reached 114 million euros. Particularly strong growth is evident in the free-to-play segment – games which, as the name indicates, can be played completely free of charge. Users in this segment only spend money if they want to purchase special equipment for their character or advance in the game more quickly, for instance. Sales revenue from these types of microtransactions in games – the sale of virtual goods and extra content – increased to 153 million euros during the first six months of this year: a 72 per cent increase compared to the same period during the previous year (89 million euros). In total, 95 per cent of the game apps downloaded in Germany are free-to-play games. Schenk comments: ‘Game apps, and free-to-play games in particular, have become one of the strongest drivers of growth in the games market. Game apps are doing more than just tapping into new target groups of people who previously never played or played only rarely; they are also making use of new platforms such as Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and televisions. This innovative approach will allow the game app segment to continue to grow in the years to come.’

Note on market data:

The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s digital games market are unique in terms both of 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, and also a consumer panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.

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