• Game apps generated 208 million euros in turnover in the first half of 2016
• ‘Game apps play a major role in driving the technical development of smartphones and tablets.’
• Overall market for computer and video games grew to 971 million euros in the first half of the year
Berlin, 14 September 2016 – Growing numbers of Germans are passionate about games for smartphones and tablets. Turnover generated by these types of apps in the first half of 2016 rose to 208 million euros, which equates to a year-on-year increase of 27 per cent. In the first six months of 2015, game apps generated 164 million euros. The BIU, the German Games Industry Association, published these figures today based on data compiled by market research institute GfK. One major driver of growth is sales revenue from virtual goods and additional content purchased with microtransactions. Turnover in this segment increased by 30 per cent, to 199 million euros, as compared to the reference period. Free-to-play apps, in particular, make use of this model – they allow players to play game apps free of charge and spend money as desired on additional levels or customised character design. Turnover from the sale of game apps, on the other hand, dropped from 11 to 9 million euros.
‘Game apps play a major role in driving the technical development of smartphones and tablets. A new high-end model is never presented without a game demonstration to show the device’s significant improvements in performance,’ says BIU Managing Director Dr Maximilian Schenk. ‘Successful game apps – such as Pokémon Go, most recently – are evidence of the enormous scope of game apps: smartphones and tablets have become the primary gaming platform for large segments of the population. Mobile devices will also play a decisive role in helping virtual reality take root.’
Overall market for computer and video games grows significantly
On the whole, the market for computer and video games grew significantly in the first half of 2016, generating 971 million euros in turnover during the first six months of the year – an increase of 10 per cent compared to 2015. Sales of games for PCs, consoles, handheld and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers still generate the most revenue: 521 million euros were generated in this segment during the first half of 2016. This is a slight decrease (2.4 per cent) compared to the first six months of 2015 in a segment that depends particularly heavily on individual hit titles and bestsellers. Game sales revenue that year amounted to 534 million euros. By contrast, the virtual goods and additional content segment – where purchases are made by microtransaction – continued its highly positive growth. In the first half of 2016, turnover in this segment rose by 20 per cent, to 317 million euros. Free-to-play games are a major part of this segment; gamers can play these titles free of charge, spending money on additional levels or customised character designs only as desired. The game subscriptions segment also demonstrated extremely positive growth. Here, turnover increased by 26 per cent, to 82 million euros. German players’ expenditures for fee-based online networks such as PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold were also included in the data for the first time. This segment generated 21 million euros in turnover in the first half of 2015; during the same period in 2016, that figure was 51 million euros – an increase of 144 per cent.
Note on market data:
The data used is 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. Deviations between this year’s revenue figures for sales of game apps in the first half of 2015 and last year’s revenue figures for the first half of 2015 are the result of adjustments to the data collection method.
About the BIU:
The BIU, the German Games Industry Association, is the association of the German computer and video games industry. Its 26 members are developers, publishers and suppliers of digital games. Together, they represent over 85 per cent of the German market. The BIU is, for example, the organiser 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.
BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware e. V.
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