The average gamer in Germany is 35 years old

The average gamer in Germany is 35 years old
Family using smart phones while lying on rug at home
  • 34.3 million people in Germany play computer and video games
  • Female gamers account for 47 per cent (16.2 million gamers)
  • The PC is the most commonly used game platform in Germany

Berlin, 7 June 2016 – Nearly every second German is a gamer: 34.3 million people in Germany play computer and video games. That’s 46 per cent of the total population. Almost half of them (47 per cent or 16.2 million) are women. These are the figures published by the BIU, the German Games Industry Association, based on data collected by market research company GfK. The average age of gamers has risen further: from 34.5 to 35 in the space of a year. The biggest increase in gamer numbers was in the 50+ age group: the number of gamers in this age bracket increased by 500,000 to 8.4 million in the space of 12 months. This means that the over-50s now account for a quarter (25 per cent) of all gamers in Germany. The increase in the average age can be attributed to the first generation of gamers: anyone who was given a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or Commodore 64 as a teenager in the 1980s will now be in their mid-40s. ‘Games are played across all age brackets and social classes: they have become firmly established as an entertainment and cultural medium,’ says BIU Managing Director Dr Maximilian Schenk, explaining the development. ‘This is not the first year that gamer numbers in Germany have risen fastest in the 50+ age group. Intuitive controls involving motion and touchscreens have earned digital games a firm place in the media collections of older people in recent years.’

Most gamers in Germany play on the PC

More than half of German gamers (18.4 million or 54 per cent) use the PC or laptop to play games. Although the PC as a gaming platform has lost 1.4 million users in the space of a year, it continues to occupy first place in Germany. The PC is still very attractive as a game platform for a large number of different target groups, partly because of the various virtual reality headsets, e-sports and browser games it supports, and because of genres like strategy games, which rely heavily on mouse and keyboard controls. Smartphones have gained around 700,000 gamers over the same period. 17.2 million people in Germany now use their phone to play games. Stationary game consoles have also gained 700,000 new users in the past year. The number of console users has risen to 15.6 million, driven by the latest generation of consoles: PlayStation 4 from Sony, Xbox One from Microsoft and Wii U from Nintendo. Tablet computers are also increasingly popular for playing games on. The number of people playing games on these flat touchscreen devices has risen by 1 million to 11.5 million users. The number of gamers using handheld devices has remained stable since 2015, with 8.3 million people in Germany using devices like Nintendo’s New 3DS and Sony’s PlayStation Vita. ‘Never before has there been such a wide choice of devices on which to play games,’ says Schenk. ‘Besides the classic game platforms like the PC and consoles, smartphones and tablets have also become firmly established in recent years and have inspired people to play games who previously played very little, if at all.’

Note on market data:

The data on developments in gamer demographics and the most popular gaming platforms in Germany are based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel. 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. The total target population for the survey is German citizens (around 74 million people in Germany).

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