A new publication by Hamburg-based secondary research organization yStats.com, “Europe Online Gaming Market 2014”, reports that Internet users in Europe spend more time playing games online than residents of other nations. Game players in Western Europe tend to spend more time online through consoles or the computer compared to their neighbors in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, but throughout the continent, the trend is clearly toward online gaming through mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones, and toward gaming through social networks.
In Europe, the UK led spending rates on digital game content, while Germany was the leading country by average monthly revenue per paying user. Online gaming is a vast market in the UK as nearly 20% of the population of the UK use the Internet to play video games. The online game market there has further growth potential because of the mobile trend. Tablets were the first choice of over a third of mobile device owners to play games in 2013 in the UK, while half of all tablet owners played games. In Germany, consoles and PC are still popular for gaming, but mobile and social platforms are gaining importance. Downloads generated the highest revenue on the online gaming market in Germany in 2013. Mobile game sales also grow, with games for mobile devices making the largest contribution. The most popular types of games played in Germany are strategy, casual and action games.
In France, digital games are expected to grow and take a large share of the total video games market, while physical games sales decline. The revenues of the digital gaming market in France grew by over 10% in 2013, while the share of digital gaming on the total gaming market increased. Computer was the device most frequently used for gaming in France last year, followed by smartphone. In Belgium, the largest group of gamers played social or casual games, with the mobile gaming audience also being significant. A similar pattern was observed in Spain, and in Italy the PC and consoles are still used as much for games as smartphones and tablets.
The emerging markets Turkey and Poland were ahead of Western European countries in terms of the share of online gamers on Internet users in 2013. Eastern European countries also had a higher share of users who play networked games than in Western Europe, with Croatia in the lead. In Poland, computer games remained a major segment of the gaming market in 2013, but social, mobile games and online MMOs are catching up. In Turkey, over 20 million people play games online regularly, with social games being the largest contributors to this number.
In Russia, the online gaming market is booming, with still more growth expected from the mobile and social platforms. The online gaming market grew by over 20% in Russia, with MMO being the largest segment, followed by social. The number of mobile gamers in Russia is forecasted to increase annually to reach over 60 million in 2016, with around the same number playing online games other than on mobile devices.