Slight jobs increase in German computer and video games industry

Slight jobs increase in German computer and video games industry
  • Nearly 13,000 people are involved in developing and selling games in Germany (1 per cent more than in 2015)
  • German market for computer and video games grows by 4.5 per cent

Berlin, 31 May 2016 – The number of people employed in the German computer and video games industry remained stable last year: as of 1 April 2016, 12,839 people were involved in developing and publishing computer and video games in 510 companies across Germany. Compared with last year, the number of employees in this sector has risen by 1 per cent (2015: 12,726 people), while the number of companies has increased by 14 per cent (2015: 450). These were the figures announced today by BIU – the German Games Industry Association. The figures are based on the Games Industry Directory, an industry database created by the BIU. If the figures are adjusted to include people involved with computer and video games in other capacities – as specialist retailers, journalists, academics and staff working for official authorities and institutions – the number of jobs secured by the computer and video games industry in Germany rises to 31,293. This represents an increase of 4 per cent (2015: 30,231).
‘The number of people employed in the computer and video games industry is increasing slightly, while the market has seen considerable growth of 4.5 per cent. This shows that the industry is growing but there is a great deal of untapped growth potential,’ says BIU Managing Director Dr Maximilian Schenk. ‘Although a lot of German companies are benefiting from the dynamic developments on the games market, Germany as a games location is not. Countries like the UK, France and the Scandinavian countries have recognised the key role of games for the digitisation of the entire cultural and creative sector and have specifically supported the industry’s development, especially when it comes to project financing. The result is significant employment growth in the games industry in these countries. Germany has great growth potential as a production location for computer and video games – we need to find the right triggers to activate it, for instance in the form of production support for games. Going by the experiences of other countries and industries, the number of jobs in the German games industry could be increased three or four times over.’

Majority of employees working for developers

Of the 510 companies in Germany that are involved in developing and publishing games, the majority (319) are developers. This is also where the biggest growth took place: the number of companies specialising in developing games rose by 16 per cent (2015: 276 companies). A further 69 companies focus on publishing games (+3 per cent, up from 67). The remaining 122 companies are involved in both developing and publishing. In 2015 there were 107 of these (+14 per cent). ‘The growth differences between the different categories of company highlight the strong degree of convergence in the industry,’ says Schenk. ‘Whereas there used to be a clear demarcation between developers and publishers, these boundaries have become increasingly blurred. Today, increasing numbers of developers are also involved in sales – via download platforms and app stores, for instance. But lots of publishers have also built up their own development capacity.’

German market for computer and video games grows to 2.81 billion euros

In total, the German market for computer and video games grew by 4.5 per cent to 2.81 billion euros in 2015. Leaving games consoles aside, sales revenue generated by games amounted to 1.99 billion euros. This represents an increase of 3.5 per cent compared with 2014. The greatest proportion of sales revenue was generated by sales of games for PCs, consoles and mobile devices, which together generated 1.21 billion euros. Sales of virtual products and extra content rose particularly sharply last year to 562 million euros, which is 18 per cent higher than in 2014. Sales revenue from game subscriptions also increased by 5 per cent to 145 million euros. Meanwhile, the new hybrid toys market rose an astonishing 53 per cent in 2015 to 72 million euros.

Games Industry Directory

The Games Industry directory is a database that records developments in the German computer and video games industry on an ongoing basis. The BIU uses exhaustive industry observations, market research, appropriate projections and surveys of experts to monitor the employment situation in the German games industry. It provides the most comprehensive and detailed overview of the industry in Germany.

Note on market data:

The data used is based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel and GfK Entertainment. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s 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 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. Discrepancies between this year’s sales revenue figures for the purchase of computer and video games in 2014 and the figures provided last year for 2014 are the result of a methodological adjustment.

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