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AGO Esports Enters Partnerships with Puma and Wrigley’s Orbit

Niji Narayan

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AGO Esports Enters Partnerships with Puma and Wrigley’s Orbit
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AGO Esports, the Polish-based esports organisation, has announced partnerships with Puma and Wrigley Company’s chewing gum brand Orbit.

Puma is a German athletic apparel company and AGO Esports will debut its new Puma jersey at DreamHack Open in Rio de Janeiro.

Kuba Szumielewicz, CEO of AGO Esports commented on the Orbit partnership: “We feel satisfied that AGO Esports have been selected as one of three Polish organisations by the Orbit brand to spread awareness of the positive influence of chewing sugar-free gums on caring for healthy and clean teeth among esports fans.”

He continued, this time discussing the deal with Puma: “We are proud that a global brand like Puma has [chosen] AGO Esports to enter the esports market in Europe. The assortment and technology used in Puma’s products fully meets the expectations and needs of our organisation.”

Central Europe

German Regulations Ban Visa and Mastercard from Online Casino Transactions

Niji Narayan

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German Regulations Ban Visa and Mastercard from Online Casino Transactions
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Online casinos targeting German consumers will no longer be able to use Visa or Mastercard services, as a fresh wave of punitive legislation targeted at the iGaming industry and payment providers transferring money to and from online casinos has been unleashed.

Visa has instructed banks in Germany not to accept deposits and withdrawals from online casinos using their cards.

A financial services giant spokesperson said the company recently reached out to its retail banking partners to ensure that “only legal, properly licenced transactions are processed” using its credit cards.

It has also recently emerged that German online casino players do not use their Mastercard credit cards to deposit money and withdraw their winnings from gaming websites. Casinos replied generally that Visa and Mastercard had advised them either to exclude the two companies from their lists of available payment options in Germany or to lose access to Visa and Mastercards in all the markets they work.

Last month, the state of Lower Saxony in Germany ordered an unidentified payment service provider to refrain from handling illicit online gambling transactions, that is, casino websites.

Last summer, the state issued a similar notice again to an unidentified payment agency, which was generally assumed by local media to be PayPal as the company revealed shortly after that notice it was shutting down its services to German online casino players.

Lower Saxony ‘s Minister of Interior and Recreation, Boris Pistorius, said last month that payment service providers are “legally obliged to refrain from making payments in connexion with illegal gambling” and urged them to “critically review and, if necessary immediately stop working with companies that practise illegal gambling.”

Minister Pistorius sent the country’s banking sector a letter earlier in 2020 urging financial institutions to stop the processing of illicit gambling money.

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Central Europe

Casinos Austria to Reopen All its Venues from Today Onward

Niji Narayan

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Casinos Austria to Reopen All its Venues from Today Onwards
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Casinos Austria, who operates 12 casinos within Austria, is going to reopen all their venues from today onwards (May 29). Details on how the venues will operate under social distancing rules and safety for both staff and customers are not known at present.

Austria has not suffered as much as other European countries with the pandemic, with a total recording of 16,000 cases and a death toll of 645 as of May 25. The spike in the country came in March and early April and over recent weeks number of new cases has steadily declined.

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Germany: Sales revenues from paid online services for games rises significantly once again

George Miller

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Germany: Sales revenues from paid online services for games rises significantly once again
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• 461 million euros generated by fees from online services

• More than 5 million people in Germany pay for online services

• German games industry tops 6-billion-euro mark

Sales revenue generated by fees from online services in Germany rose significantly once again. The segment grossed approximately 461 million euros in 2019, which is an increase of 30 per cent compared to 2018 (353 million euros) – and even that year, the segment had nearly doubled, with growth of 97 per cent. These are the figures released today by game – the German Games Industry Association, based on data collected by the market research company GfK. Fee-based online services are currently available in multiple versions and for a range of different gaming platforms. For example, services on consoles including Nintendo Switch Online, PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold offer options such as playing online with and against other players, saving games in the cloud and receiving discounts on games and expansions. Subscription services for PC such as Origin Access Premier (EA) and Uplay+ (Ubisoft) allow players to pay a fixed monthly fee to access a huge rotating library of games and to play some new games before the release date. With cloud gaming services such as Google Stadia Pro and PlayStation Now, on the other hand, gamers no longer need high-performance hardware to play titles with their full range of graphics, as the computing power to run the games is provided in the cloud. Monthly fees for online services can range from 4 to 10 euros, depending on the provider. Last year, a total of approximately 5.1 million gamers paid for these fee-based services, which is around 300,000 people more than in 2018 (4.8 million).

In Germany, growing numbers of gamers are discovering fee-based online services that give them access to an enormous selection of the latest hot titles, offers and discounts for a monthly fee. The strong growth in this segment also indicates how much the games market is currently changing: long-term access and usage rights for games are becoming much more important than purchasing individual titles,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘Cloud gaming services are an interesting option for many gamers, particularly if we consider future trends and blockbuster titles that require a lot of processing power. All the heavy processing takes place in data centres, so the players themselves no longer need particularly high-performance hardware. There’s a lot going on in this budding market segment at the moment, and we expect to hear much more about it in future.’

German games market grows by 6 per cent

As already reported by game, the German games market grew by 6 per cent in 2019, to around 6.2 billion euros. Sales of games hardware, including consoles, gaming PCs and accessories, dropped by 2 per cent from the previous year, to 2.4 billion euros. In contrast, the market for games software showed a gain of 11 per cent: in 2019, a total of about 3.9 billion euros was spent on computer and video games and the charges for the respective online services.

About the market data

The current data takes into account further dedicated games hardware like gaming PCs and the corresponding accessories, resulting in a larger market size than previously reported. This is true also of the adjusted data for 2018, which accordingly differs from that reported last year.

The market data is based on statistics compiled by GfK, the GfK Consumer Panel and App Annie. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s digital 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 digital 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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