The number of people employed in Germany’s games industry is dropping despite a substantial growth within the market, according to the country’s trade body.
The German Games Industry Association (Game) reports a decrease in the number of staff at companies that develop and distribute games of 5.9 per cent to 11,014 in 2018.
In the wider labour market - including service providers, retailers and the media - the number of jobs fell 1.2 per cent. Overall, the games industry in Germany currently provides nearly 30,000 jobs.
The decline comes despite a rise in the number of games companies in the country, which increased from 524 to 614 thanks to the formation of a number of small start-ups. Of these companies, 272 are said to both develop and publish games.
The German games market grew nine per cent in 2018 to €4.4 billion ($4.9 billion). Online service fees proved to be the biggest driver behind the growth with a 97 per cent increase, earning €353 million (nearly $400 million).
Another contributing factor to the growth is the increase in in-game purchases, which contributed €1.9 billion ($2.3 billion), giving a growth of 28 per cent.
“Although the market once again grew significantly, there was an overall loss of jobs. The reason for this is that few of the games played in Germany are also developed here,” said Game MD Felix Falk.
“To stop this trend, we need a long-term strategy. The introduction of federal funding for the games industry is the central component in this.”
“The fact that this funding is missing from the government’s 2020 federal budget draft has caused great uncertainty, and the resulting planning insecurity is a growth inhibitor for games companies of all sizes. At the same time, the increased number of companies is grounds for confidence.”