Growing sense of gloom in the German games industry

Growing sense of gloom in the German games industry
  • Only 12 per cent of game companies expect positive development in the German games industry in 2024
  • In contrast, one in two German game companies anticipate a very or rather positive development for their own business

Berlin, 22 January 2024 – For the international games industry, 2023 was a mixed year. While a remarkably large number of high-quality games were released, this also prevented some of these titles from attracting the expected level of attention. At the same time, a generally overcast economy and a slowdown in investment made for a worsened business outlook. As a result, there have been increasing reports of lay-offs and, in isolated cases, even studio closures in recent weeks and months. These developments are reflected in game’s annual industry barometer published by game – The German Games Industry Association: overall, German game companies’ economic forecast for the coming year is more negative than it was at the start of 2023. Only 12 per cent of companies expect the German games industry as a whole to develop positively or somewhat positively this year, compared to 48 per cent one year ago. However, they are significantly more optimistic when it comes to their own prospects: one in two game companies (50 per cent) anticipate a positive or somewhat positive development in their own business. Companies’ outlook with regard to their own employee numbers is also less negative than with respect to the industry overall: 41 per cent of German game companies anticipate a positive or somewhat positive development in the size of their own workforce, and 37 per cent expect a neutral development. In the wake of the federal government’s flip-flopping on national games funding, companies are evenly divided in their assessment of the government’s performance: around one third of companies, respectively, view the work of the federal government as rather positive (33 per cent), neutral (31 per cent) or somewhat or very negative (36 per cent).

Game companies in Germany are looking to the future with significantly less optimism than at this time last year,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game – The German Games Industry Association. ‘This is due to the strain in the global games industry and the inconsistency in the domestic games funding policy. It’s clear that Germany needs a rigorous games policy as well as reliable, internationally comparable conditions to be competitive in one of the world’s largest media markets. The weaker our position here, the heavier the impact on us will be in years when the climate in the international games industry is harsher. And the stronger our position, the better we here in Germany will be able to profit from the next wave of growth.’

About game industry barometer 2024

The data is based on an online survey conducted by game – the German Games Industry Association between 6 and 12 December 2023 involving 125 German game industry association members, including in particular developers and publishers.

game – the German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members represent the entire video game ecosystem, from development studios and publishers to esports event organisers, educational institutions and other related entities. We are co-organisers of gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are a shareholder in the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK), the Foundation for Digital Games Culture, the esports player foundation, devcom and the collecting society VHG, as well as co-host of the German Computer Game Awards. Serving as a central point of contact for media, as well as political and social institutions, we provide comprehensive expertise in areas including market development, game culture and media literacy, and address any inquiries or concerns. Together we are making Germany the heart of gaming worldwide. With games, we enrich the lives of all people.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
game – The German Games Industry Association
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