Sixteen and a half million Germans play online games, according to the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU), so it’s no surprise the industry’s biggest trade fair, gamescom, is in Cologne this year. (It started on Wednesday and is continuing through the weekend.) After double-digit growth rates in recent years, rates continue to escalate for free online games, which have now become established, financially strong and hungry for new users. This growth as given rise to three new companies: NEODAU, Traffic Captain and HitFox.
The market is still highly dynamic, even if the initial social games euphoria has subsided somewhat. According to the Facebook, social games reach 235 million people every month. The number of Daily Active Users (DAU) has reached 167 million (Source: AppStats), of which 51 million are on the market leader Zynga, followed by King.com, with 10.6 million players. Wooga from Berlin is currently at 7.2 million DAU.
€ 2.50 Per Registered Player
The operators of browser- or client-games, such as Gameforge, InnoGames, Bigpoint, upjers, Travian or Frogster also managed an impressive sum for fresh players. The annual budgets for major publishers are moving in the millions, and following an upward trend. “In the free-to-play segment there have been extremely high growth rates over the past three to four years. At the same time the increase in prices for new users have now approximately doubled in Germany, Austria and Switzerland,” said Stefan Hinz, Managing Director of gaming network NEODAU. Where a new user was previously 80 cents, today it can cost up to €2.50 to lure a player in desirable markets like Germany.Global Desk Editor