The times are certainly changing fast. There is no way of saying what will happen tomorrow, as the tempestuous atmosphere sizzles in the air: Germany is undergoing a plethora of changes these days. With the recession looming, the future of the country that is currently the fourth-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP provides much material for discussion.
The Global Market
The industry of gaming is an important facet of every economy. Considering that the entire gaming industry has been experiencing steady growth in the last couple of years, the predictions are that it will keep expanding even further with each year. In 2018, the industry generated EUR135 billion, while the year before that concluded with EUR115 billion in revenue. It is estimated that 2021 will generate up to EUR180 billion in all fields of gaming, as more and more people turn to this type of entertainment. During last year, it was reported that over 2 billion people got engaged in several types of gaming activities, including console, casino, and mobile gaming.
2019 for Germany So Far
As for Germany, the first half of 2019 proved to be quite successful. The turnover for video games and gaming hardware increased 11% in comparison with the first half of the previous year.
The growth was mostly driven by fees for online services, where revenue was increased by more than 50% in the first half of the year. Progress is also notable in the market for in-game purchases which grew 28%.
However, other results and facts suggest not everything is so great.
According to the latest report of the German Games Industry Association (Game), the gaming market in Germany employs 27,854 people in all fields and positions. Around 11,000 employees are directly tied to developing and publishing games and constitute the 'core market', while the rest refers to media, service providers, retailers, and other similar branches.
However, that number is significantly smaller than it was in previous years. In terms of percentages, the number of employees in the field dropped by 3.1% in comparison to 2018.
On the other side, the number of companies in the industry grew from 524 to 614 since 2018. The spike in these numbers reflects the appearance of several small companies that currently employ less than five workers. The number of developing companies is more than double the number registered last year.
The discrepancy between the increase of turnover and companies and the decline of people associated with the industry is confounding. While success is notable in so many areas, the fact that we are still able to see so many worrying results inevitably leads to the question: what can we really expect in the future of German gaming market?
No Area of Gaming is Left Untouched
News arrived regarding sports betting as well. It was recently announced that sports betting regulations will be strengthened, and operators that wish to acquire licenses for this type of gaming will have to jump through several more hoops before they are allowed to work.
But, therein lies the catch. Future licensees, among other documentation, will be required to prove that they are not associated with any online casino, and declare that they will not promote, operate, or facilitate any sort of unauthorized gambling activities. The regulations come into effect on January 2nd, 2020. This will certainly affect the growing online casino industry in Germany. However, it is not known if online casinos will be included in the new agreement, but officials from all German states are expected to present their proposals for online casinos by October. Online casinos have been quite a prosperous field in Germany, and some of the best online gambling venues players can visit in Germany have been nicely listed at Best Casinos, one of the biggest authority directories out there.
The Multi-Colored Future
Right now, it is difficult to say what the future will bring for German gaming.
What is clear, however, is that the country and its market need to create a long-term strategy for strengthening the industry as well as the entire economy. Striving towards a regulated gaming market brings forth numerous stipulations and risks for operators and companies that have been working in the field for decades as the threat of losing revenue looms.
However, with a recession that is hanging in the air, Germany is yet another country that is facing major economic turbulences and will, most probably, be able to solve them in the next few years. For now, the view of the future is neither black nor white - but rather a blend of several colours.