Much fewer Germans playing on the PC

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For years, the German players were regarded as particularly loyal fans of desktop and laptop. According to a study by the Game industry association, this changed fundamentally in 2018: Compared to 2017, only 13.4 million players have said that the PC is their most popular platform – around 3.9 million fewer than in 2017. The consoles, in particular, which named around 16.7 million gamers as their primary gaming platform in 2018, have gained in popularity. This is 700,000 more than in the previous year.

Smartphones have apparently also won: They are used for gaming by 18.6 million people in Germany – around 400,000 more than in 2017. Around 10.9 million users use tablets. According to Game, over 34 million people in Germany play computer games at least once in a while. The average age is 36.4 years.

Turnover from games on smartphones and tablets has overtaken other platforms. With corresponding apps and in-app purchases, sales of around 1.5 billion euros were generated in 2018. Sales of games, subscriptions and online services (Xbox Live, Playstation Plus) on the consoles amounted to around 1.3 billion euros. Sales on the PC amounted to around 659 million Euro, according to the Game. In 2018, games, accessories and hardware in Germany generated a total turnover of around 4.4 billion euros; in 2017 the figure was around 4 billion euros.

The game does not mention any reasons for the sharp decline in the number of PC players. Most market observers assume that the number of PC players will increase in the long term. The market research company Statista, for example, expects around 1.32 billion players on the platform worldwide by 2019, and 1.4 billion by 2021. The PC is particularly popular in important growth markets such as China and India.

The development of user numbers over the past three years (Graphic: Game)

The data reported for Germany are based on surveys conducted by the GfK Consumer Panel, GfK Entertainment and GfK POS Measurement; according to Game, they are representative.

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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