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German games market in 2023: strong development in turbulent times

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The German games market once again grew significantly overall in 2023: sales of games, games hardware and gaming online services rose by 6 per cent to around 9.97 billion euros. This is a significant increase after sales had only risen by 1 per cent in the previous year. The biggest growth drivers include games consoles and their accessories as well as in-game and in-app purchases. Despite the large number of top-class titles, which increased sales of games purchases by 4 per cent, the number of games sold fell by 8 per cent at the same time. There were also significant declines in some cases for gaming PCs and laptops. The data on the German games market is based on surveys conducted by the consumer panel services GfK and data.ai. The different developments in the individual market segments also show that 2023 was a year of contrasts for the games industry as a whole: on the one hand, more high-calibre titles were released within twelve months than ever before. On the other hand, some sales expectations were not met, particularly due to this abundance of outstanding games. Combined with generally high interest rates and a slowdown in the investment market, a wave of consolidation began worldwide, as a result of which developer studios are still being downsized or even closed and jobs are being cut.

‘The German games market continues to grow, but a close look at the data shows just how challenging these times are for game companies,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘This is particularly true for small to medium-sized companies in Germany, most of which have only thin capital cover and therefore feel the impact of the tougher investment climate especially quickly. In such turbulent times reliable and internationally competitive political solutions are needed more than ever.’

 

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Major differences between categories of games hardware

Sales revenues from various categories of games hardware developed very differently last year. Game consoles were among the most important growth drivers, posting a revenue increase of 44 per cent to break the billion-euro threshold, with total revenues of 1.1 billion euros. Demand for game console accessories was similarly robust, if at a slightly lower level. Sales revenues in this area jumped 32 per cent, to 374 million euros. In stark contrast, gaming PCs registered a clear decline as revenues from PCs and laptops marketed specially for games dropped by 17 per cent, to 547 million euros. Accessories for gaming PCs – including special input devices, graphic cards, etc. – fared only slightly better, with revenues falling by 7 per cent, to just under 1.3 billion euros.

‘Last year was the first year in a long time in which all current game consoles were easily available on the market,’ says Felix Falk. ‘The huge revenue gain in this category in 2023 shows how great the pent-up demand was among players. On the other hand, there was a clear drop in sales revenues from gaming PCs. After investing in PCs and laptops during the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of video game players seem to be well-equipped for the moment.’

Sales revenue from games rises and gaming online services stabilise at a high level

Sales revenue from games developed positively overall in 2023. Across all platforms, purchases of PC and console games generated 4 per cent more revenue than in the year before. Total sales revenues in this area increased to around 1.1 billion euros. Considering the many high-quality game releases, however, this rise seems rather low. Indeed, the number of games sold actually dropped by 8 per cent. This reveals that the growth in revenue here is attributable exclusively to higher average prices. Last year, many video game players appear to have purchased high-quality titles shortly after their release and not waited for discounts. Also, because many of the top titles of 2023 are especially time-intensive, they didn’t leave room for players to acquire a larger number of games. In contrast, the market development for in-game and in-app purchases was significantly more positive, showing a revenue increase of about 6 per cent, to 4.7 billion euros. From an upgrade in a player character’s armour, to a season pass with a lot of additional content, to completely new campaigns, it has become ever more common for the playing time of a game to be extended or individualised through additional content. This trend continued in 2023. In-game sales revenues contribute significantly to covering continuously rising game development costs.

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After a number of years of strong growth, sales revenues from online gaming services stabilised at a high level. Among the categories in this segment are fee-based subscription services that provide access to a large selection of games, cloud-based gaming, online multiplayer functions and the ability to save game progress in the cloud. Examples of these services include EA Play, Nintendo Switch Online, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass and Ubisoft+. Revenue from these services fell by 1 per cent in 2023, to 860 million euros.

 

The post German games market in 2023: strong development in turbulent times appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

Central Europe

Playtech Expands iPoker Network into the Czech Republic in Partnership with Fortuna Entertainment Group

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Playtech announced the expansion of its iPoker network into the Czech Republic, in partnership with Fortuna Entertainment Group (Fortuna), marking the first introduction of Playtech’s iPoker network in the Czech market.

This launch represents a significant milestone for both Playtech and Fortuna, as it introduces poker into the Fortuna Entertainment Group for the first time. Through Playtech’s iPoker network, Fortuna’s players in the Czech Republic will now have access to a diverse range of poker games, benefitting from a strong international liquidity pool of players from all around the world, plus a high-quality player experience and state-of-the-art poker product.

The iPoker network has experienced explosive growth over the past few years, and the addition of Fortuna will contribute to the continuation of this trend. The Czech Republic is a prominent hub for live poker tournaments in Europe, with prestigious events held year-round in cities like Prague and Rozvadov. By joining forces with Fortuna, Playtech aims to tap into the potential of this vibrant market, bringing an unmatched online poker experience to the Czech audience.

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Marat Koss, VP of Interactive Gaming at Playtech, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Fortuna to expand our iPoker network into the Czech market. Playtech is committed to providing a high-quality player experience through its cutting-edge poker product and continuous innovation and together with Fortuna’s continued success and significant growth trajectory as the leading betting and gaming operator in Central and Eastern Europe, this partnership will offer a modern, seamless, and engaging user experience for Fortuna’s players.”

Myke Foster, Group Head of Gaming & Commercial Strategy at Fortuna Entertainment Group, said: “Poker has a significant presence in the Czech market with an established player base and we are impressed by the quality of Playtech’s poker product. We see tremendous potential in this product and are confident it will deliver an exceptional and modern user experience to our customer base. We have had a very successful partnership with Playtech over the years and we look forward to watching this partnership continue to grow from strength to strength.”

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Central Europe

BF Games Enters Czech Market with Apollo Games

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BF Games, the dynamic game development studio, has entered a new market through a collaboration with Apollo Games, a major licensed online casino operator in the Czech Republic. The content deal provides Apollo Games customers with the supplier’s most engaging releases, including titles like Stunning Hot Remastered and Cave of Fortune, which are now available.

ApolloGames.cz has been entertaining Czech players since 2021 and is part of the globally known Apollo Game Group, which boasts more than 17 years of experience in online games as well as land-based operations. The commercial partnership is part of the supplier’s plans to expand across Europe and supply thrilling games to operator partners worldwide.

Rok Hribar, Head of Sales and Account Management at BF Games, said, “Our new partnership with Apollo Games is a huge milestone for us as we make a significant entrance into the growing Czech market.
“We look forward to providing some of our most popular games to Apollo Games player base and bringing our creative content to their screens.”

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Stanislav Jurecka, Casino Manager at Apollo Games, said, “We are watching the rapid development of BF Games’ offerings and are thrilled to sign this deal with the studio.”
“Adding BF Games’ slots to our online casino is a great win for us and our players, providing fantastic entertainment through a great mix of classic and innovative content. We look forward to introducing further games throughout the year and growing our successful partnership.”

The post BF Games Enters Czech Market with Apollo Games appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Central Europe

Apparat Gaming and edict egaming announce partnership

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Leading German software provider teams up with Hamburg-born aggregator to make full suite of slots available to customers in regulated markets worldwide

With immediate effect, German iGaming-business Apparat Gaming is teaming up with fellow Hamburg-founded company edict egaming. The former, having forged a reputation for providing premium casino content with a German accent, has thus joined forces with one of the country’s top aggregators in edict, one of the Merkur Group’s subsidiaries.

As a result of the deal, Apparat Gaming’s ever-expanding portfolio of 30+ quality slots, including recent releases like the high-octane Autobahn Alarm and the hotly-anticipated Fishin’ the Biggest, will be joining edict’s already widespread line-up of over 200 titles – making them now available to all operators who choose edict for their game aggregation needs.

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This collaboration will give customers access to an even more diverse selection of games, all of which are fully compliant with the latest German regulation and certified for release in multiple markets.

Founded in 1998, edict was one of the industry’s pioneering online casino service providers before it was acquired by the Merkur Group a decade later. In 2021, the company added an aggregator solution to its offering, and it has been steadily developing this product ever since to a point where it now supplies content to over 150 operators and starts 8.5+ billion games per year.

Specialising in engaging titles that are supplied by some of Germany’s most popular studios, Apparat Gaming’s releases will certainly look right at home among the aggregator’s prestigious game portfolio – and both parties are already looking forward to a highly successful collaboration.

Martin Frindt, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Apparat Gaming, said: “Given Apparat Gaming’s German roots, we’re delighted to be teaming up with a Hamburg-born business-like edict. Adding our titles to their line-up will give operators access to our over 30 top slots that all come with our signature German accent, and we can’t wait to hear how they’re received by customers.”

Dominic-Daniel Lienard CEO at edict, said: “Since launching our aggregator solution, edict has compiled a stellar portfolio of releases from some of the top developers in Germany and beyond – and adding Apparat Gaming titles will strengthen this roster further. With great graphics, unique themes, and innovative bonus features, we’re sure their slots will be a huge hit with our operators.”

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