The gaming industry in Germany was able to record immense growth last year and broke through the 6 billion euro mark for the first time. The clear growth drivers are online services, which are clearly gaining in importance, while the user behavior of players in Germany is increasingly shifting to the digital level of the Internet. Potsdam and the region are important locations for the German games industry and are therefore responsible for the growth of the industry in Germany.

Games industry grows by six percent in 2019

The German games industry showed growth in 2019. As the results of a study by the market research company GfK and App Annie show, sales of games hardware and software rose by a total of six percent last year. With the achievement of 6.2 billion euros, the 6 billion euro mark was exceeded for the first time in the German history of video games.

As announced based on the market data, sales for software increased in the first place. This segment of the industry increased by eleven percent compared to the previous year. On the other hand, sales of gaming hardware such as consoles, gaming PCs and accessories have decreased. Compared to 2018, these fell by two percent to 2.35 billion euros. The trend in user behavior among German players clearly points in the direction of the Internet, because online services have made a significant contribution to the growth of the entire industry.

Online services dominate growth

In the digital transformation, the way people consume content is changing in a variety of ways. With its continuous technological developments, the games industry is regarded as a driver of innovation and is pointing to the digital level with the increasing establishment of online platforms and services. Today’s users want a comprehensive range of games, rather than just buying a disc and playing through it from cover to cover. In response to consumer demand, platforms are increasingly emerging that provide a library of games that players can access at will. Probably the best-known example from the video game industry is Steam, Valve’s online shop where games of all kinds can be bought and downloaded.

This trend can also be seen in the area of ​​gambling, with platforms offering a wide range of casino games online, so that blackjack, roulette and slot games, among other things, can be played over the network with a high degree of flexibility. With the emergence of cloud gaming platforms such as Google Stadia, which allow games to be played online via a stream without the need for a download, this development is further driven. The figures from 2019 clearly show this trend.

Nine out of ten PC games have already been purchased via a download on said platforms. Overall, around a third of all video games are acquired via downloads. The use of online services such as cloud gaming platforms and subscription services shows particular growth. The segment of online services for games grew by a total of 31 percent in 2019 and recorded sales of 461 million euros. It can thus be clearly seen that the user behavior of players in Germany is clearly shifting to internet platforms and their services.

Potsdam is an important location for the industry

The Berlin-Potsdam region has long recognized the immense potential of the German games industry and makes an important contribution to this branch of industry. Just last year, a group of students from the Hasso Plattner Institute and the University of Potsdam launched their own computer game. The game called A Card Shooter was created as part of the Ludum Dare competition, which was about combining two seemingly contradictory game genres in one game.

A Card Shooter combines a deck building card game with a twin stick shooter. The game is now available to the public for purchase and download on the Steam gaming platform. While this is a major achievement for the region’s gaming industry, the Potsdam location offers significantly more. For example, the sports club SV Babelsberg introduced a new sports department in 2018, so that the NullDreier has since also been represented in eSports – the organized and competitive video game tournaments.

In the overall German comparison, Potsdam and Berlin are particularly important locations alongside the Rhine-Main area, Munich and NRW. Among other things, the digarec – Center for Computer Games Research is located in Potsdam and the Film University Babelsberg offers interested parties from all over Germany the opportunity to to specialize in the gaming industry in order to gain a professional foothold in the growing and innovative sector.

The games market in Germany is growing, while the user behavior of players in this country is clearly changing as a result of digitization. As an important location for the industry, Potsdam is making its contribution to growth.