|Background on the European Games Market
In 2007 interactive software sales in nine of the major European markets* reached an approximate total of €7.3 billion. These figures represent games software alone (i.e. the games themselves, excluding the revenue generated by sales of hardware). The UK alone represented €2.3 billion in revenue, followed by France (€1.6bn), Germany (€1.4bn), Spain (€0.7bn) and Italy
The growth in software sales was accompanied by an explosion in hardware sales. New consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii joined Microsoft’s XBOX 360 in offering gamers a ‘next generation’ experience and hardware revenue represented €5.7 billion in 2007 compared to €3 billion in 2006. Comparatively, reported software revenue in the United States was approximately €6.9 billion** in 2007 and €7.4 billion***
in the Asia-Pacific region for 2006 (2007 figures not yet available).
As indicated in this year’s research report, in large part this expansion in revenue appears related to the growing ability of video games to offer a mainstream and stimulating experience to a wide range of Europeans. The predominance of mainstream video games among 2007’s best-sellers also indicated the growing breadth of the European market.
In 2007, only one game rated 16+ featured in the top 20 best-sellers of the year in France. The situation was similar in Spain, where all of the top ten games except for one (which was rated 16+) were rated suitable for players over the age of three years old. The top 10 in Germany consisted of eight games rated 3+ and two games rated 12+. In Italy, games designated for those eighteen and over achieved two places in the top
10, while in the UK only one game rated 18+ listed among the ten top selling games of the year.
Building on previous research commissioned by ISFE in 2004, 2005 and 2007, this year’s research report continues to profile the evolving composition of the European market, consumer perceptions of games in relation to other media, awareness and understanding of age ratings and potential future directions for the industry. This Executive Summary now provides consumer insight from Benelux, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and
Finland - in addition to countries included in previous surveys – and a snapshot of the games consumer in relation to the general populations of the UK, Finland and Spain.
* Based on GFK data out of GFK sales and consumer panels 2007 for the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as data provided by the Swedish and Finnish ISFE member organizations.
**Based on the ESA press communication from February 20, 2008. Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, reported $9.5 billion of software sales for 2007.
*** Price Waterhouse Report, 2006.
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