Consumers in Europe and the UK spent a whopping €23.3 billion ($27.3 billion) on video games during 2020.
That's according to European games trade body ISFE and developer federation EGDF, who commissioned Ipsos Mori's GameTrack arm to research spending habits in the regions for last year. That €23.3 billion is up 22 per cent year-on-year, no doubt helped by a certain global pandemic.
The research shows that console made up 44 per cent of revenue for 2020, while 80 per cent of consumer spending was on digital games. In 2019, that was just 76 per cent, with the increase once again likely being down to the fact that that people couldn't really leave their homes for much of 2020.
GameTrack's research also indicates that over 50 per cent of Europeans between the ages of six and 64 play video games, with the average gamer now being 31 years of age. Women make up almost half – 47 per cent – of gamers in the EU.
Outside of consumer spending habits, the report shows that the European games industry employs a whopping 86,953 across the continent.
“There’s no doubting the challenges we have all faced during the global pandemic but our industry has been uniquely positioned to support society by connecting people whilst they were physically apart," ISFE chair Olaf Coenen said.
"We have provided vital points of social connection and interaction, provided entertainment, distraction and much needed escapism. We have helped keep our players mentally and physically well, supported education initiatives, leveraged our reach to communicate public health messaging and made financial contributions to relief funds. All the while, we have remained unfailing in our efforts to drive progress in diversity, support the global environmental agenda and maintain our commitment to responsible gameplay and child safety. In so many ways we have been able to bring people together and highlight the depth to which video games can be a force for good.”
The president of EGDF Hendrik Lesser added: “During 2020 the games industry went through one of the biggest transformations in its recent history. Onsite meetings, developer gatherings and conferences suddenly took a big shift towards remote work that brought completely new management and mental health difficulties. Especially early-stage entrepreneurs faced new challenges that were endangering the future of their companies.
“Now in 2021, I’m incredibly proud of what our industry as a whole has been able to overcome. We demonstrated that, despite these difficulties, we are not only among the most pandemic-resistant sectors in our society but even managed to thrive greatly and are now well-positioned to be a driving force in Europe’s economic recovery."