Germany Trade and Invest

Gamescom: Gaming Industry Trends Create Opportunities in German Market

Berlin/Cologne (ots) - Germany's gaming industry remains stable in 2010, looking to nearly match 2009 revenues after a record year in 2008. With over 21 million gamers in Germany and 62 million internet users, the German market remains Europe's largest and most attractive. Developments in the online gaming segment, especially the growing popularity of social gaming on social networking sites like Facebook, as well as recent demographic developments indicate an industry-wide shift. Several international game developers and publishers are already active in Germany. Industry experts from Germany Trade & Invest will be at this year's "Gamescom" from August 18-22 in Cologne, Germany, to discuss market and investment opportunities in the Germany gaming industry.

Over the past five years, the Germany gaming industry, consisting of PC, console, online as well as mobile gaming, has seen a number of significant developments. Posting growth rates as high as 47 percent in some industry segments in recent years, the gaming set a record with revenues of EUR 2.7 billion in 2008. The industry as a whole posted a slight drop in revenues in 2009 to EUR 2.4 billion during the global economic downturn, although several segments remained immensely popular, especially online gaming. Increasing participation in gaming over social networking sites is anticipated to create growth potential and stimulate innovation in the coming years.

Recent demographic developments in the industry are also creating new market potential. While 4 out of every 5 teens are gamers, this traditional target group is not the only one playing electronic games. According to a recent report by BITKOM, almost one third of all 40-49 year olds plays video or computer games. The most attractive types of games in Germany are electronic puzzle, strategy and management games.

Several international gaming companies have already established a presence in Germany, with branch offices or subsidiaries located across the country. A large number are based in the USA, such as Electronic Arts subsidiary EA Phenomics in Ingelheim. Asian companies also have a strong presence in the German market. Japanese game developer Konami Digital Entertainment, for example, has a German branch office in Frankfurt am Main. For new developers and publishers, market entry conditions remain highly attractive, as the German market is not dominated by large companies that control large market shares. The structure of the industry here is characterized by small and medium enterprises. Of the 200 game developer studios in Germany, only 25 have more than 50 employees.

With approximately 62 million internet users, Germany has the largest online market in Europe and therefore creates considerable potential for companies in the online gaming segment. Germany's geographic position in the center of Europe, excellent infrastructure, and ultra-modern broadband network allow companies to effectively direct their European operations from Germany. An additional strategic advantage for the innovation-dependent gaming industry is the availability of highly trained workers. German universities, technical institutes, and the country's dual education system ensure a high quality education and provide companies with qualified and motivated employees at competitive costs. Today several higher education institutions, such as the Games Academy in Frankfurt and Berlin or the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, offer gaming industry-related fields of study.

At this year's Gamescom, taking place from August 18-22 in Cologne, industry experts from Germany Trade & Invest will be on hand to discuss the latest developments and business opportunities in Europe's largest gaming market.

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business activities in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to enter foreign markets.

Media Contact:

Germany Trade & Invest
Eva Henkel
T: +49(0)30 200099-173
F: +49(0)30 200099-111

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