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CeBIT: New markets will grow games industry

Dr. Sven-Michael Prüser, Deutsche Messe's senior VP responsible for technology show CeBIT, believes one of the key reasons the videogames industry has bucked the general economic slowdown so far is because new markets are being exploited.

Dr Sven-Michael Prüser, Deutsche Messe's senior VP responsible for technology show CeBIT, has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes one of the key reasons the videogames industry has bucked the general economic slowdown so far is because new markets are being exploited - and that there's plenty more potential.

"The biggest change [in the past year] really seems to lie in the older segments, people aged up to even 60 or 70 years old, who are buying games to train their brains or other things, even sports games," he said ahead of this year's CeBIT event which is taking place this week.

"I think that's great, because it opens up completely new market areas in the industry. I think it opens up other possibilities with social groups, such as elderly people, but also for business people, and others.

"But I think the most important thing for the industry is to open people up to more sophisticated things, like brain training, because simple gaming is entertaining, but there is potential in other sectors that should be used by this industry.

"As long as new target groups can continue to be developed [the progress can continue]. Of course, the sky's the limit as far as the industry can grow," he added.

He also gave his thoughts on some of the controversy surrounding violent videogames, and the way that mainstream press and politicians react.

"We have a little battle sometimes, like in some other countries but I think it's worse here, when some crazy guy decides to kill their parents, or school mates or teachers, and politicians tend to say that it's the result of a strange kind of videogame," he said.

"I think this is completely stupid, and I think one aim has to be to educate people that this kind of crazy person has no relation to games. As far as I'm aware, the psychological and sociological studies about these incidents might show that they had some contact with strange games, but they will always find something - strange music, films, and so on.

"But I think the reason is always somewhere between the parental influence and the social environment in which they grow up. It's a lot to say that it's the fault of the entertainment industry, it's even dangerous - because you're looking in the wrong place for reasons."

Dr Prüser's tips for hot properties at this year's CeBIT, taking place now in Hannover, Germany, include quad core processors and new software for the development of entertainment products on mobile devices.

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