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German games market grows by 22 per cent in the first half of 2021

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German games market grows by 22 per cent in the first half of 2021
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• German games market sees further increase in growth after 2020

• Half of Germans believe that the potential of games is not yet adequately exploited

• Free-to-play games enjoy high levels of acceptance among players

• Around seven million Germans watch gaming live streams, and a third of these do so at least several times a week

Last year’s strong growth of the German games market continued in the first half of 2021: in the first six months of this year, sales revenue in computer and video games, online casino and associated hardware grew by 22 per cent year-on-year to a level of 4.6 billion euros. This was announced today by game – the German Games Industry Association at the gamescom press conference. gamescom itself starts this Wednesday evening. This data is based on surveys carried out by the market research companies GfK and App Annie. The strongest drivers of growth include in-game and in-app purchases: the revenue from these services grew by 34 per cent to around 2 billion euros in the first half of the year. The high demand for games hardware such as games consoles, graphic cards, etc. generated revenue growth of 24 per cent to around 1.7 billion euros. Charges for online networks also considerably boosted revenues, rising by 18 per cent to 378 million euros in the first half of 2021.

‘The demand for games and corresponding hardware remains strong this year following the surge in 2020. In particular, the springtime shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic saw many people in Germany reach for their smartphone, games console and PC in order to play games and have fun with other people,’ says game Managing Director Felix Falk. ‘As well as being first-rate entertainment, games also offer huge potential for dealing with the challenges of our age, such as the coronavirus pandemic, climate change or the digitalisation of our society. Unfortunately, this potential is still insufficiently exploited in Germany – a situation that more than half of Germans currently believe to be a problem. With German parliamentary elections on the horizon, this should be a clear signal to politicians to improve the framework conditions for the games industry and to further leverage the potential of games for our society and economy in future.’

Half of Germans believe that the potential of games is not yet being adequately exploited

This year’s gamescom is raising awareness of the huge potential of games under the guiding principle of ‘Games: The New Normal’. Computer and video games not only make millions of people happy every day, they have long been used in companies, schools, retirement homes and museums. Whether environmental protection, health or for using the coronavirus app: 50 per cent of Germans believe that the huge potential of games is not yet being adequately exploited in Germany. More than half of Germans agree with the statement that games can help inculcate environmentally aware behaviour by simulating the consequences of environmentally damaging actions. Almost as many people agree with the statement that gamification can motivate people to move more in their everyday lives and eat more healthily, and can contribute to a healthy lifestyle as a result. Nearly four out of ten Germans see the deployment of gamification as an opportunity to increase the acceptance and use of digital solutions such as the coronavirus app.

 

Free-to-play games enjoy high levels of acceptance

Never before have so many games been available to play for so little money. gamescom highlights this development with the trend ‘more games for less money’. Free-to-play games are one of the main reasons for this trend, in addition to the burgeoning array of increasingly extensive subscription services that give users access to the latest blockbuster and indie games for just a few euros per month. Because they are free of charge while incorporating optional additional purchases, free-to-play games enjoy high levels of acceptance among video game players. Around three quarters of all players in Germany have played free-to-play games without spending any money on them. Just under six out of ten players believe such games to be better than having to pay a fixed amount of money in advance. Around half of players consider in-game purchases – which enable the free-to-play games to finance themselves – to be fair because they are optional and are a means of funding the development of the games.

 

Live-streaming as a ‘campfire for the digital age’

This year’s ‘live-streaming’ trend at gamescom refers to a phenomenon of games culture that has experienced uncommonly high growth over recent years. Live broadcasts on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube or Facebook Gaming that actively involve the community have long been regarded as the campfire of the digital age. Over seven million people in Germany use corresponding platforms for gaming live streams, and a third of them do so at least several times a week. Additionally, many other subject areas such as cooking, talk formats or sports events – and not just gaming – are hugely popular on the platforms. The special feature of the live streams on these platforms is the direct communication between creator and community, and it is this interaction that is the entertaining factor. gamescom also utilises live-streaming to delight millions of fans around the world with shows such as gamescom: Opening Night Live or gamescom: Awesome Indies, with talk formats such as the gamescom studio and also live streams from a host of partners.

 

About the data

Please note: GfK has adjusted its definition of hardware designed for games, with the result that the market size comes out higher – also for the figures already reported last year for the first half of 2020.

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.

The survey data used is based on an online survey by YouGov Deutschland GmbH in which 2,052 persons participated between 3 and 5 August 2021. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 16 and older.

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.

Central Europe

HAPPYBET OFFICIAL REGIONAL PARTNER OF FC INTERNAZIONALE MILANO

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HAPPYBET OFFICIAL REGIONAL PARTNER OF FC INTERNAZIONALE MILANO
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A new partnership that will see the German and Austrian operator become the Nerazzurri’s Official Regional Partner

FC Internazionale Milano, the 2020-2021 Serie A champions, and HAPPYBET, a brand of the Snaitech Group, are pleased to announce a new partnership that will see the German and Austrian operator become the Nerazzurri’s Official Regional Partner.

The HAPPYBET brand stands for reliability and expertise in German and Austrian markets. In 2017, the company was acquired by the Playtech group, a leading gaming company operating in 24 different countries that has also controlled Snaitech since 2018.

A predilection for innovation is the key value that links the two brands and seals the partnership, as proven by the visibility that the HAPPYBET brand will receive in selected European countries on the Virtual Cam Carpets and on LED boards around the pitch during Inter’s home games at the Stadio San Siro thanks to the innovative Digital Overlay®️ geolocation technology adopted by the club.

The new partnership also includes further exclusive initiatives that will be launched throughout the season that will promote the HAPPYBET brand to the large fan base of one of the most iconic clubs at an international level.

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Central Europe

Bet-at-home Decides to Temporarily Discontinue Offering Online Casino in Austria

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Bet-at-home AG has announced that it will temporarily discontinue its offering of online casino in Austria, and recognise further provisions due to player lawsuits for repayment of gaming losses.

The Management Board decided during a meeting with the Supervisory Board to put the online casino offering in the country on hold. This is due to the fact that, even though the company considers itself to be lawful, the continuation of the activity before final legal clarification over a period of time that is currently no longer foreseeable would lead to a steadily increasing risk potential that appears indefensible overall.

The Germany-based company had already announced that it was facing legal claims from customers for a reimbursement of gambling losses in the online casino.

In a statement released by the company, the bet-at-home.com AG Group said it still considers the online casino monopoly of the national Austrian gambling regulation to be “contrary to European law”, and considers itself to be a “lawful online casino provider in Austria”.

Regarding the necessity derived from the current European Court of Justice case law of a recurring review also by the Austrian courts, bet-at-home.com AG Group deems it is not taking place to the required extent, and has so far assumed a positive development of case law in particular at the higher courts in the appeal instances, until the end of the first half of 2022.

However, due to a recent decision by the Austrian Supreme Court, it is now unclear whether the bet-at-home.com AG Group will be able to enforce its legal opinion in Austrian courts in the foreseeable future.

The decision on any resumption of the online casino offering in Austria will be made in the future depending on the development of the legal framework, and the company “will continue to use all available legal means to take action against the lawsuits filed in Austria”.

The Management Board also decided to recognise further provisions for the customer lawsuits for reimbursement of player losses that have been pending in Austria to date.

As a result, the Company provisionally expects gross betting and gaming revenues of between EUR 93 million and EUR 98 million for the bet-at-home AG Group in fiscal year 2021 and negative EBITDA of between EUR -14 million and EUR -10 million, which includes expenses of EUR 24.6 million in connection with the Austrian customer lawsuits.

Depending on the decision of the Austrian tax authorities, the Company assumes that gaming levies amounting to 40% of the relevant amounts will have to be refunded to the bet-at-home AG Group on player losses to be reimbursed. However, due to legal uncertainties, these amounts are not used to reduce the aforementioned expenses and are not capitalised.

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Central Europe

Hamburg Games Conference 2022 will focus on “Moving Markets” – digitally & on-site in Hamburg on March 2-3, 2022

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Hamburg Games Conference 2022 will focus on "Moving Markets" - digitally & on-site in Hamburg on March 2-3, 2022
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The 13th Hamburg Games Conference on March 2nd and 3rd, 2022, invites international speakers, games industry experts, thought leaders, and trade visitors to exchange ideas at the hybrid event. Under the conference theme “Moving Markets” it will present keynotes and discussions on the constantly changing markets and business models in the games industry. For the first time, the Hamburg Games Conference is calling for topic proposals in a Call for Speakers. In addition, visitors can expect networking events, an expo area, and matchmaking both online and on-site. For the first time, the Hamburg Games Conference 2022 will pursue a hybrid event concept, where visitors can interact both in Hamburg’s Zeise Cinemas and digitally on a custom developed, playable conference platform. Tickets are available now.

Constant renewal, innovation, and change continue to be the key pillars of the games industry. New sales channels and target groups are opening up, and innovative business models are emerging. So, what will the games industry of tomorrow look like? And how do companies act with foresight and flexibility in the highly competitive games market to play a leading role in the future?

“Growth and change in the games industry received a boost amidst the global pandemic, which continues to shape its face today. We are looking forward to discussing current developments and open perspectives of the future of the industry together at the Hamburg Games Conference” says Dr. Ralph Graef from co-organizer GRAEF Rechtsanwälte.

The second conference track “Games Funding” will focus on news and best practices concerning games funding in Germany from the federal government, and regional funding offers from the federal states, such as the Games Lift Incubator and Prototype Funding in Hamburg.

Hamburg Games Conference: hybrid concept for the first time

This year, the Hamburg Games Conference will bring its international audience together at two locations for the first time: The first day is digital for all participants. On a browser-playable, interactive virtual cruise ship, conference visitors will meet for matchmaking and spontaneous video networking and discover new games projects and services in the online expo. The platform was developed specifically for the conference in 2021 and will be further expanded with new content and functions. For the second day of the conference, the Zeise Cinemas in Hamburg will open their doors with talks, discussion rounds, and networking events. The talks and panel discussions of the main track will also be broadcast live via the online platform.

“Drawing from the experience of the Hamburg Games Conference Online in 2021, we are once again offering international participants who cannot make the trip to Hamburg the event-feeling at home. Through the online platform, we connect participants in Hamburg with industry contacts around the world. Those who grace the ‘Gamecity Hamburg’ with a visit to the conference will also be offered the complete program on-site on March 3, including our Gamecity Treff in the evening,” says Dennis Schoubye, project lead at Gamecity Hamburg.

In 2021, the Hamburg Games Conference welcomed over 650 people from 34 countries to a digital-only edition of the conference. As an on-site event, the Hamburg Games Conference was last held in February 2020 at Zeise Cinemas – with over 400 international visitors.

 

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