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Europe’s video games industry publishes annual key facts report: authoritative data on the sector for 2020


Ahead of the world’s biggest online video games event, gamescom, and following an unprecedented year of challenges, ISFE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe), and EGDF (European Games Developer Federation) publish their first collaborative set of “Key Facts”. The report represents the pooling of European industry data, from the smallest European studios to the biggest companies, creating the most concise and complete picture of Europe’s video games sector to date.

“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. 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.”

Olaf Coenen, ISFE Chairman

“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"

Hendrik Lesser, EGDF President

Key Facts 2020 – highlights

  • Revenue in the whole of the EU and the UK is €23.3bn (€17.6bn in the key European markets surveyed by GameTrack (IPSOS MORI)
  • European revenue grew by 22% compared to 18% in 2017, 15% in 2018 and 3% in 2019
  • Consoles continue to drive a large part oftotal revenues (accounting for 44%). Digital revenues continues to grow, representing 80% of total revenue (76% in 2019).
  • More than 50% of Europeans aged 6-64 play video games. The average age of video game players in the EU is 31 years old and the fastest growing age group is 45-64
  • During the pandemic, the esports audience grew by 9.82%
  • Women account for 47% of video game players in the EU
  • The sector provides 86,953 jobs across Europe
  • Average weekly video game playtime increased during lockdowns but reverted to pre-pandemic averages when restrictions eased
  • ISFE has become a corporate ambassador of Women In Games and joined the United Nations-facilitated Playing for the Planet Alliance
  • Pan-European self and co-regulation for minor protection: 38 countries in Europe use the PEGI age rating and descriptor system for video games and we now have 14 national consumer education programmes in place across Europe to raise awareness of PEGI, parental control tools and responsible gameplay
  • 97% of parents of video gameplaying children monitor their children’s in-game spending
    (2019 data)

The full report is accessible here. Data used in the publication is extracted from GameTrack, GSD, EGDF and Newzoo reports. Any journalist interested in topics relevant to ISFE is welcome to get in touch with us for information or individual briefings.


Players are at the heart of what we do.

Since 1998, ISFE has ensured that the voice of a responsible games ecosystem is heard and understood, that its creative and economic potential is supported and celebrated, and that players around the world continue to enjoy great video game playing experiences. ISFE represents the video games industry in Europe and is based in Brussels, Belgium. Our membership comprises national trade associations in 18 countries across Europe which represent in turn thousands of developers and publishers at national level. ISFE also has as direct members the leading European and international video game companies.

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