Who can spontaneously think of three good and up-to-date computer and video games from Germany? It’s not an easy question, but it’s an important one for Games Germany right now. Because Gamescom starts today, again as a digital event.
From the evening, with the opening show Opening Night Live, international media and fans look to Germany, listen to interviews with game developers and influencers and consume one new game announcement after the other.
Bad mood in the industry
But while the German games industry is celebrating, there is rumbling behind the scenes. Because the real stars of the fair are the international game productions. Of course, there are also German games, but they don’t play a major role.
This is also shown by the current figures from the Game industry association: In the Corona year 2020, sales of video games in Germany climbed to 8.5 billion euros, a record. In the first half of 2021 it will already be 4.6 billion euros.
The problem: These huge sales figures rush past the German game productions. Of the 100 euros spent, only 4.2 euros go to local productions.
The German industry’s share of the games market is too small, says Felix Falk, game industry association.
Who’s to blame? The game association asked the game developers and the answer is: the state or at least the local framework. Digital education is rather poor, Internet infrastructure anyway, there are not enough skilled workers, Germany has a bad image as a games location and so on.
50 million euros in annual funding – make something out of it!
Yes, that is valid criticism. But: Some things are going pretty well in Germany. The training for the specialists of tomorrow is gaining momentum. Some federal states, especially Bavaria, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, have recognized the economic and creative power of games and are promoting their development.
The federal government itself also puts 50 million euros into the games industry every year as funding. After some purchasing difficulties, there now seem to be people in the Ministry of Transport who are in the mood for games and who understand the medium. So there is no shortage of money.
Nevertheless, the international productions in particular will dazzle us during Gamescom. The promotional games from Germany will be in production for another year or two – and then maybe top games made in Germany will finally be at Gamescom. With them, the framework conditions will improve, the German game studios have it in their hands.