Growth in the German games market continues. For the second year in a row, the games market is growing significantly, probably also due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Sales of games and games hardware increased by 17 percent in 2021.
German games market: almost 10 billion euros in sales in 2021
The German games market is booming. After the historic leap in growth in 2020, the market was again able to grow significantly in the past year 2021. This is the conclusion reached by the Game industry association in its analysis based on data from market research companies GfK and data.ai.
Due in part to the Corona pandemic, the games industry in Germany recorded growth of 32 percent; in 2021, the figure was still just under 17 percent. In particular, the increased demand for games consoles (+ 23 percent, 808 million euros) and from gaming peripherals in the PC segment (+ 22 percent, 1.506 billion euros) were two driving forces.
“Following the historic leap in growth in 2020, the German games market continued to grow strongly in 2021. This also shows that those who discovered games for themselves for the first time during the lockdowns will continue to enjoy them in the long term,” says game’s managing director Felix Falk, explaining the analysis.
At the same time, Falk is certain: “If the high demand could have been fully met, which was not possible primarily due to delivery problems in the hardware and console segment, an even greater increase in sales would have been possible. The PlayStation 5 in particular, but also high-end graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD, are still often not available at all, and subsequent contingents sold out within a few minutes.
Gaming (including one-time purchases, subscriptions, and in-game and in-app purchases) and gaming hardware grew at nearly the same rate in 2021, with year-over-year revenue increases of 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively, according to the analysis.
In-game/in-app purchases increase by 30 percent
However, the driving force behind the growth of the German games market was primarily in-game and in-app purchases, which increased by a whopping 30 percent to €4.239 million last year. According to game, the reason for this is the continuing trend of free-to-play games or live service titles, which are repeatedly supplied with new download content.
Sales of games that require a one-time purchase to cash in slumped by 9 percent compared to the previous year. Monthly subscriptions, such as in MMORPGs, also fell 11 percent to 145 million euros.
Consoles and accessories extremely in demand
Stationary and portable game consoles and gaming peripherals for PCs (including input devices, monitors, graphics cards or VR headsets) showed the greatest growth in the German gaming market in 2021. Germans invested EUR 808 million in new consoles, while around EUR 1.5 billion was spent on gaming accessories. 969 million euros were also invested in new desktop PCs or notebooks, representing growth of around 11 percent.
By contrast, sales of online gaming services, which comprise cloud gaming services such as PlayStation Now, Google Stadia Pro or Nvidia GeForce Now, gaming subscription services (Xbox Game Pass, EA Play, Ubisoft+, Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass) and online gaming services such as PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, grew much less strongly.
After a record-breaking boom with growth of 50 percent in 2020, this segment “only” increased by four percent from 720 million euros in the following year. Nevertheless, a very clear trend is emerging here, with the volume here still amounting to 353 million euros in 2018.
Subscription services in particular, such as the Xbox Game Pass (Ultimate) game flat rate, increased significantly in 2021, while revenue from cloud gaming services fell quite significantly and online gaming services declined minimally.