The market for computer and video games and paddles hit a new record high in 2006. In Germany turnover increased to 1.77 billion Euros which is 13% more than in 2005 (1.57 billion Euros). This is the finding of the »Digital games in Germany – trends and perspectives for 2007» study conducted jointly by the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) and the Ernst & Young consulting firm.
All in all Germans purchased about 2.9 million stationary and mobile paddles in 2006, whereas the figure for 2005 was just 2.5 million. Turnover increased from 372 million Euros (2005) to 487 million Euros (2006). There were also high growth rates with regard to the corresponding games for which turnover increased from 702 million Euros in 2005 to 780 million Euros in 2006. While the popularity of paddles further increased, sales of PC games remained static and amounted to about 503 million Euros in 2006 which is just three million Euros more than in the previous year.
The study is based on figures provided by the Media Control GfK International and industry. How this market may evolve in the future is shown by the „Digitale Games in Germany» study in the course of which 35 experts, 22 of which executive managers, from this sector were asked. According to their opinions, games for mobile telephones and portable paddles are becoming more and more important. Another important topic are new target groups. „In particular women and elderly people have quite often been disregarded in the past. Industry has become aware of this. Modern game concepts which are all about strategy and emotions are very popular with women«, says Gerhard Müller, associate of Ernst & Young. A third trend is that of so-called multiplayer games in which sometimes millions of players compete against each other over the internet.
According to the study another crucial issue is the development of competition between online distribution and stationary retail trade. Selling their games many market players want to by-pass traditional trade in order to be e.g. closer to their customers. Pay downloads as the first steps into this direction of digital distribution were already accomplished quite some time ago. The spreading of fast internet access types is set to further this development. In Germany already one in three households have wide-band internet access.
According to the study, however, by international standards the business still has to catch up quite a bit with regard to the development of new games. Whereas for example the Brits and French are also successful as developers, Germans mainly act as purchasers.