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IDnow welcomes Bundesnetzagentur decision and predicts turning point for digital identity verification

George Miller

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IDnow welcomes Bundesnetzagentur decision and predicts turning point for digital identity verification
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) paves the way for artificial intelligence to be used for identity verification in Germany and sets milestone for the application of German technology.

he decision of Bundesnetzagentur to allow AI (artificial intelligence) based identification methods for new use cases in Germany is a confirmation of IDnow’s platform strategy and at the same time a turning point in international competition for German technology companies.

With the publication “Video identification with automated procedure” for automated optical identity verification by Bundesnetzagentur in cooperation with the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), AI-based solutions for the verification of customers are now approved for certain use cases in Germany in addition to the proven methods.

The published order is based on the German Trust Services Act, which implements the eIDAS Regulation in Germany. The catalogue of criteria published by Bundesnetzagentur and BSI prescribes high technology standards for automated identity verification. IDnow is one of the few European providers that has already been officially confirmed with other methods by Bundesnetzagentur within the scope of an accredited conformity assessment and is now also already working on the confirmation for AutoIdent.

IDnow has been using automated identification technology for many years. With its product IDnow AutoIdent, IDnow is one of the leading providers of automated identification in Germany. As early as 2012, IDnow filed a patent application for fully automated identification procedures, which has since been granted by the European Patent Office. “We are pleased that the regulatory authorities have now finally opened up to technological development in Germany and see our years of research into the development of our own AI technology confirmed,” says Armin Bauer, founder and Chief Technology Officer of IDnow. In addition to this patent, IDnow holds other patents and patent applications at the European level.

IDnow’s technology uses so-called Deep Learning to perform an identification at the same security level as a personal identification – for example in a branch. For this purpose, the self-developed artificial intelligence automatically recognises the security features of the ID documents in a video stream and performs a biometric face comparison of a video selfie with the ID document. This is complemented by new security mechanisms such as a “liveness detection” that prevents attacks through recorded videos and photos.

IDnow sees the regulator’s decision as an important step towards a digital society in Germany and a fundamental turning point for German companies in international market comparison. The established and very successful services such as the electronic ID card, BankIdent or the VideoIdent procedure can now be supplemented with AI-based AutoIdent methods for new use cases. IDnow expects a significant change for German consumers: The new decree will make innovative technologies such as digital identities accessible to the broad population in the future – regardless of the individual citizen’s affinity for technology. This is because the new regulation enables platform companies such as IDnow to offer the appropriate digital methods for identity verification in each case.

“The decision of Bundesnetzagentur is an important milestone for platform companies like IDnow. In the future, IDnow, as one of the leading European platform providers, will be able to offer additional, automated identification methods to numerous other industries in Europe. This is an essential step towards a digital future in Germany and for Europe and shows that the time for secure digital identities has come,” says Andreas Bodczek, CEO of IDnow. “Consumer security is always at the forefront of the development of our procedures. For many years, we as IDnow have therefore been actively working with various organisations in politics and regulation to jointly shape this secure, European future,” he adds.

IDnow is one of the leading providers of digital identities with a broad portfolio of products and solutions and identifies several million citizens per year with its platform. The portfolio offered here includes identification methods from offline to online, from automated methods to procedures carried out by identity specialists, available flexibly online, offline in branches and even by courier at the user’s doorstep. IDnow has expanded its role in recent years far beyond simply offering individual ident methods and has become the overarching platform for digital identities with several million transactions per year.

Just last month, IDnow announced the acquisition of identity Trust Management AG, one of the leading international providers of on and offline verification from Germany. This is the second acquisition in the last six months for IDnow and represents an important milestone on the way to becoming the leading identity platform in Europe. The acquisition of identity Trust Management AG enables IDnow to expand into new industries and offer its services to a broader customer base in Germany and beyond.

Central Europe

Gamecity Hamburg is growing: Two new hires for the initiative’s communications team

George Miller

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Gamecity Hamburg is growing: Two new hires for the initiative’s communications team
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

PR Manager Johannes Klockenbring and Project Assistant Helen Krüger join Gamecity Hamburg in its mission to support, connect and promote Hamburg’s vast games industry ecosystem. Gamecity Hamburg is part of the public agency Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft and serves as the city’s contact point for games funding and networking-building in the gaming sector. Its main activities consist of the programs Prototype Funding and Games Lift Incubator as well as a range of public, industry, educational and networking events. For this year, Gamecity Hamburg’s focus will also be developing digital opportunities for exchanging ideas and networking, as well as international location marketing.

As PR Manager Johannes Klockenbring strengthens Gamecity Hamburg’s communications team. Previously, he was Strategy Consultant for Hamburg-based communications agency “Zum goldenen Hirschen” advising companies and organizations from the media, financial and public sectors on strategic brand and communication issues. Until 2019, he was also responsible for communications and marketing of Green Juice Festival GmbH, a music festival promotion company, which he co-founded. Johannes studied media studies and media management in Cologne as well as cultural management in Hamburg.

“I’m excited to support Gamecity Hamburg in increasing the visibility of Hamburg’s game industry and highlighting the opportunities Hamburg offers to companies, startups, and developers. I’m especially motivated by my professional interest in creative industry and digital culture as well as my liking for immersive story-games and lovingly designed indie games”, Johannes Klockenbring explains his switch to Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft.

Helen Krüger completed a dual university program in media management in cooperation with publishing house Edel Germany and subsequently expanded her experience in a role as Junior Marketing Manager for Edel. For Gamecity Hamburg she provides comprehensive insights from the home entertainment and publishing industry and now actively supports the team as Project Assistant. Currently, Helen is completing her master’s degree in Information, Media and Library at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg).

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Central Europe

German market for mobile games grows by 23 per cent

George Miller

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German market for mobile games grows by 23 per cent
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Whether a quick round of a puzzle game, an interactive quiz against players around the world or even strategic team games in a league structure: game apps are appealing to more and more people. The easy accessibility and growing variety of titles is resulting in a steady increase in the number of players, and sales revenue is showing considerable growth every year. The market for game apps posted strong growth again in 2020. In Germany, within a single year, the sales revenue for games designed for smartphones and tablets increased by 23 per cent to roughly 2.3 billion euros. This represented a continuation of the impressive growth exhibited in the market for game apps in the previous years: sales revenue grew by 22 per cent in 2019, and by a remarkable 31 per cent the year before. These are the figures released today by game – the German Games Industry Association, based on data collected by the market research company App Annie. The year 2020 saw the continuation of another positive trend from the previous years: the market growth is directly attributable to in-app purchases. Sales revenue from such purchases grew by 24 per cent to about 2.3 billion euros. Free-to-play games, especially, relied on in-game purchases. These are titles that can be downloaded and played free of charge. Players can opt to spend money for additional content, such as personalising their own avatar in a game. Free-to-play games are particularly successful on smartphones and tablets. The market segment for game apps available for purchase, in contrast, declined again. In 2020, sales revenue for such titles dropped by 15 per cent down to roughly 11 million euros. Another trend also continued in 2020: the average age of smartphone game players increased by 1.4 years within a single year, from 37.4 to 38.8 – representing a clear increase in average age. At 52 per cent, just over half of these mobile games players are women.

‘Mobile games are becoming increasingly popular in Germany. Not only did the rising number of players contribute to this renewed strong market growth, but also the growing variety of titles. While app stores, in their early years, primarily featured casual games for playing from time to time, they have since exhibited an increase in the number of more complex games available. If we take a look at Asia, we see the direction one of the developments is taking: mobile games are increasingly being played competitively – in leagues and in tournaments – thus becoming a category of esports,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game.

German games market: major surge in sales revenue in 2020

The German games market recorded a considerable surge in sales revenue in the Covid-19 year 2020. Computer and video games and the related hardware generated a combined sales revenue of about 8.5 billion euros, as already reported by game. This is an increase of 32 per cent compared to the previous year. Games consoles, gaming PCs and peripherals accounted for roughly 3.2 billion euros in sales revenue. This is an increase of 26 per cent compared to 2019. The submarket for computer and video games saw even stronger growth, with revenues of 5.2 billion euros achieved through game purchases, in-game and in-app purchases, subscriptions and charges for online services. As a result, this part of the market managed to grow by 36 per cent compared to the previous year.

About the market data

The market data is based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel and App Annie. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s video games market are unique in terms of both 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 video game purchasing and usage habits, as well as a retail panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.

 

game – the German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.

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Central Europe

Evoplay burnishes German market credentials with PlayPearls

George Miller

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Evoplay burnishes German market credentials with PlayPearls
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Supplier gears up for newly-regulated territory with fast-growing platform provider

Game developer Evoplay has announced an agreement to provide the dynamic platform provider PlayPearls with its content.

The deal allows PlayPearls to benefit from exclusive access to the casino content studio’s high-tech titles within the German market, including widely popular hits such as Hot 777, Midnight Show and Ice Mania.

Under the agreement, a selection of more than 50 slot titles and 12 instant games drawn from Evoplay’s coveted collection will be distributed across the platform provider’s extensive partnership network.

Evoplay’s German market debut follows a hugely successful period for the supplier, which has continued to strengthen its award-winning product suite with a range of acclaimed additions, as well as completing comprehensive commercial deals with a string of prominent partners.

Commenting on the agreement, Vladimir Malakchi, Evoplay CCO, said: “We’re thrilled to team up with PlayPearls, a rapidly expanding platform provider based in one of the world’s most promising markets.

“We’ve made an impressive start to 2021, generating strong momentum with a range of key deals and operator partnerships. Agreements such as this are integral to that success, and we look forward to working with the team at PlayPearls.”

Uwe Küstner, Public Relations Manager at Paypearls, said: “It’s fantastic to integrate Evoplay’s award-winning suite of titles, which we have no doubt will prove popular with players in the German market.

“We can’t wait to continue attracting new customers with an action-packed offering of unrivalled quality, and this comprehensive content deal is key to that endeavour.”

Evoplay has earned accolades from throughout the world of iGaming for its distinctive approach to game development and next-generation portfolio of award-winning slot, table and instant games.

Last year, the supplier continued to extend its global reach with partnerships signed in the UK, Croatia, Malta, Bulgaria and Romania over the Christmas period.

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