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German industry shows slow growth

One per cent increase in physical and digital sales says FAIES

The German games market is still showing some growth, says the Federal Association for Interactive Entertainment Software - putting that growth at a tenuous one per cent across physical and online sales.

The figures, released by the association during last week's Gamescom show in Cologne, show a total revenue for the sector of €793 million for the first six months of 2011. Association head Olaf Wolters says he expects that figure to grow to three per cent by the year's end.

Whilst many other regions have shown some decline in physical sales since the begining of the economic downturn, digital and online sales have compensated for some of that shrinkage.

Some industry figures are of the belief that gaming is 'recession-proof'and will continue to exhibit growth in the face of economic turmoil. Nintendo of Germany's general manager, Bernd Fakesch, told Reuters:

"The games business is, at least from my experience over the last couple of years, not affected by recessions and not dependent on economic performance, but more dependent on whether there are good games on the market or if there is something new."

IHS Screen Digest analyst Steve Bailey reached a similar conclusion in his comments to Reuters.

"With these service-oriented online games providing such economical entertainment, as well as major packaged franchises finding ways to engage players for longer, it's difficult to argue that games will suffer harshly during a near-future downturn."