Smartphones and games consoles excite millions of new players

Smartphones and games consoles excite millions of new players
Four friends checking their mobile phones at the same time.

• Smartphone increases lead as most-used games platform
• Games consoles gain 1.1 million additional players
• German games market grows to 8.5 billion euros in 2020
Berlin, 4 August 2021 – In 2020, video games were more successful than ever before, as indicated not least by a 32 per cent leap in sales revenue in Germany. Among games platforms, especially the smartphone profited from the games boom. Already the most-used devices for gaming in 2019, with 19.5 million players, mobile phones further increased their lead last year as 22.6 million people in Germany reached for their smartphone to play. This was announced today by game – the German Games Industry Association, on the basis of data provided by the market research firm GfK. Games consoles also won over more players in 2020, registering a rise of 1.1 million users within a year, to 17 million. A look at retail makes clear just how popular games consoles were in 2020: the two new models PlayStation 5 from Sony and Xbox Series X/S from Microsoft, both released in late 2020, and even Nintendo’s Switch, which has been available since 2017, were sold out in many locations. Not every games platform, however, benefitted equally from the games boom. The PC lost around 1.1 million players in Germany, landing in just third place with 15.2 million users. Tablet computers, too, were less in demand, as only 9.9 million game players reached for the flat touchscreens to play in 2020, down from 11.2 million in 2019.

‘Smartphones, especially, profited from the strong interest in games last year,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘The reason for this is clear: almost everybody has one, and the offerings of smartphone game apps are huge. In addition, most titles are available as free-to-play games, so anyone can quickly start playing free of charge. There was also a real hype around games consoles in 2020, with stocks of the devices repeatedly selling out. That was the case with Nintendo Switch, which has been on the market since 2017, and also for the new consoles PlayStation 5 from Sony and Xbox Series X/S from Microsoft.’

German games market: big jump in sales revenue in 2020

The German games market recorded a strong jump in sales revenue in the Covid-19 year 2020: total sales revenue of around 8.5 billion euros was achieved in computer and video games and associated hardware, as already reported by game. This is an increase of 32 per cent compared to the previous year. Sales of more than 3.2 billion euros were registered with games consoles, gaming PCs and the corresponding peripheral equipment. This is an increase of 26 per cent compared to 2019. The submarket for computer and video games saw even stronger growth, with revenues of 5.2 billion euros achieved through game purchases, in-game and in-app purchases, subscriptions and charges for online services. As a result, this part of the market managed to grow by 36 per cent compared to the previous year.

About the market data

The market data is based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s video games market are unique in terms of both 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 video game purchasing and usage habits, as well as a retail panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.

game – the German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.

Press contact:

Martin Puppe
game – game – the German Games Industry Association
Friedrichstraße 165
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Twitter: @game_verband
Instagram: game_verband

Martin Puppe
+49 30 240 87 79 20