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Nielsen: Europe Passes NA To Become 2nd-Largest Game Territory

According to a recent Nielsen study, Europe is now the second-largest video game territory in the world: gaming generated EU 7.3 billion (USD $11.4 billion) in the European Union last year, which compares quite favorably to Asia (EU 7.4 billion; USD $11.5 billion) and the US at $10.7 billion (EU 6.9 billion). (source-

There are several more bits of interesting data, too: the average age of the gamer in the UK is 33 years old - the highest of all surveyed territories - while 42% of those players have children. Parents clearly enjoy playing games with their kids, as 72% said it was "a fun way to pass the time." In response to these statistics, ELSPA managing director Michael Rawlinson had this to say:

"This research confirms what the industry has realised for a long time - gaming is now enjoyed by an incredibly diverse audience. And the UK is a particularly mature market we have the oldest, most passionate gamers across Europe. The fact that gamers are growing up and enjoying gaming with their children illustrates the enduring nature of the medium. Its fair to say that, compared to other forms of entertainment, games are doing well."

Nielsen Games called this study "Videogamers in Europe - 2008" and used a pool of about 6000 active gamers aged 16-49. These gamers came from 15 different European countries- UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia. There's no doubt that the Euro market is now essential for all developers and publishers, so perhaps the days of late releases and unavailable titles are long gone...

5/28/2008 Ben Dutka

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Thursday, May 29, 2008 @ 12:52:46 AM

Ben, just a few thoughts on this...

Having come through the ranks of the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, PC, PS1 and now PS3 gaming I don't think the issue was ever that markets were too small to be bothered with, i believe it comes back down to the systems themselves and the development necessary to get the technicalities correct whilst sustaining a degree of quality that gamers appreciate.

As we have seen, with complex custom hardware comes complex development tools. With complex development tools comes a steep learning curve, specifically during a games optimisation cycle. There is a trend I believe that spans across the majority (if not all) industries... the technical people are always fighting the finance people, and the marketing people are fighting the technical people to remain on schedule and perform miracles... because the marketing people have little knowledge of what it takes to actually make a game. Add to this the Hype machine, which does no favours for the games companies themselves when the end result is a let down, and you have a meddly of promises and expectations that are difficult to manage... Its almost mid 2008 and there is, at best, 4-8 games in the current PS3 crop that are actually worthy of being part of a "AAA" collection.

At the beginning of a new hardware cycle, such as the one we are in now, development delays will occur. In the next two years the majority of development delays and cross-platform technical issues affecting todays hardware (as it did in previous years on last-generation hardware)will become easier to solve.

Exclusives will look better on their target hardware respectively and development schedules will likely remain on track. As we know, there are still issues with developers getting to grips with the hardware and cross-platform development is still, in my opinion, flaky at best. Killzone 2, MSG4, GT5 start to give us an idea of what is achievable on target hardware... (if these games do not already show us what the maximum potential of the PS3 hardware is) Let us hope not!



Last edited by Qubex on 5/29/2008 12:54:59 AM

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Thursday, May 29, 2008 @ 2:12:54 AM

thats was a nice little rant q that has nothing to do with the article lol.... am english, and even as a kid i remember playing with my dad and my uncle on a sega mastersystem playing sonic and alex the kid.. with us all doing a level each lol. guess gaming has alwayz been quite big in the uk

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Thursday, May 29, 2008 @ 5:07:39 AM

Merely adding some of my thoughts to why we still suffer delays, and the likelyhood that whilst delays may dimish within a 5-8 year hardware cycle (across multiple platforms), there are always likely to occur... The main problem being the disconnect between the expectations of the finance department, marketing department and what is actually achievable in reality within a set development period... that is of course if a developer cares about making and releasing a quality product!


Last edited by Qubex on 5/29/2008 5:10:20 AM

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Thursday, May 29, 2008 @ 6:37:19 PM

Delays really only come down to one thing, localisation. Until English becomes the first language in the other European countries (which will never happen) Europe will always get delays.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008 @ 4:01:40 AM

Is there any chance this will spur companies on to give the EU more equal game releases and the like?

This news almost makes me feel proud to be British. lol

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Thursday, May 29, 2008 @ 9:40:47 AM

I don't like it how they survey "gamers aged 16-49."
It puts off the "average age" for a gamer. Theres an awful lot of gamers under 16, I was, my brother is, my sister is, my wee neighbours are, most gamers I know are under 16. Therefore, the average age of a gameer should be much lower. Think about it.

Edit: Oh, and btw, if your not going to use the symbol, at least use the correct code for the euro. Its "EUR" not "EU".

Last edited by danr on 5/29/2008 9:50:03 AM

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