Job market and education opportunities

Germany – the land of poets and thinkers, fast but pricey luxury cars and high-quality products ‘Made in Germany’. These are most certainly the first clichés that come to mind when thinking of Germany.

But these days, Germany is also an important market for the video games industry, not only because it has the highest sales potential compared to the rest of Europe, but also, in terms of production, Germany has become an important location according to the latest figures. The number of companies in Germany developing and marketing video games increased slightly. Whilst 614 companies were active in these segments in 2019, the number has risen to 622 in 2020. This marks the continuation of a trend seen in recent years, which centres on the fact that the traditional distinction between developers and publishers is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Growing numbers of companies are developing and publishing their own video games. In 2019, 312 companies stated that they exclusively developed video games, but this number has dropped to 208 in 2020. At the same time, the number of companies that both develop and publish video games has risen from 272 to 383. The various digital sales channels make a major contribution to this trend. Consumers are increasingly purchasing video games directly online, either from app stores or download shops on PCs and video game consoles. This has led to a decrease in distribution costs, whilst giving developers the ability to deliver their video games straight to the players.

Number of employees in Germany

The video games industry’s core labour market employs a total of 10,071 people who work directly in development and distribution. The video games industry’s extended labour market, which includes people employed by service providers, retailers, educational establishments, the media and the public sector, employs 18,164 people. Consequently, the video games industry in Germany provides a total of approximately 30,000 jobs1.

Number of employees in game development and distribution

Hamburg and Berlin, in particular, are regarded as the hotspots of the German developer scene because the biggest companies are located there. In addition, companies such as Bigpoint, Crytek, Gameforge, gamigo, Goodgame Studios, InnoGames, Travian Games, Ubisoft Blue Byte and Wooga, just to name a few, were founded in Germany and now each employ over 200 people.

Increasing number of education opportunities

The increased demand for trained employees needs to be met in one way or the other. Consequently, numerous studios and companies are now offering in-house training, including Düsseldorf-based Ubisoft studio Blue Byte. Universities, colleges and private training facilities have also been offering a number of video games study programmes for a few years now. The potential for innovative content and technologies originating from the video games industry is also recognised by other industries. Regardless of whether young talent leans towards computer science, video game design, art, 3D animation or, more recently, virtual reality, there are more than 50 public colleges and universities that cover all aspects of development in various study programmes specialising in video games. In addition, a number of private colleges offer educational programmes for junior developers.

Click here to view a list of colleges and universities at gamesmap.de. More than 150 educational institutions offering degree courses related to games are currently listed there (effective date: May 2021).

Find more information on education opportunities here.

The private colleges charge tuition fees or offer scholarship programmes to their students. Public universities, on the other hand, can be attended free of charge. All interested students should pay attention to what kind of degree they can obtain and what types of partnership programmes are in place with companies in order to ensure they have the best possible opportunities to gain a foothold in the video games industry.

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Overview of the video games industry in Germany with nearly 1,700 entries (effective date: May 2021) for developers, publishers, educational institutions and service providers: gamesmap

[1] 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.
Source: Projection based on industry observations; May 2020 (www.gamesmap.de). © game 2020