International Factfile 2016: Latvia

International Factfile 2016: Latvia

Eastern Europe is a growing games market.

Russia and its revenue of $1.4bn (1.14bn) still leads the region, which as a whole hit $3bn (2.45bn), according to research firm Newzoo.

Inside this massive region, Latvia is of course pretty far from reaching Russia's heights. Newzoo reports that the country generated $23m (18.8m) in games revenue in 2016 and ranks at No.89 worldwide in terms of size.

While that ranking has dropped from No.80 in 2014, the industry has actually grown from $19.1m (15.6) over the last two years.

Data firm Statista also points out that mobile gaming could become a big part of the Latvian industry in the coming years. This segment only represented $1m (0.81m) in revenue in 2016 but should grow at an annual rate of 8.2 per cent for the 2016 to 2021 period. User penetration is at 13.9 per cent in 2016 and is expected to hit 17.8 per cent in 2021,” Statista adds.

Latvia's living standards are also improving, which explains why gaming is likely to become a bigger hobby in the future.

Due to the expected further reduction of income tax by one per cent in 2016 and the diminishing burden of consumers' debts, which were made at the peak of the economy in 2005-2008, consumers will enjoy stable income growth, which will be spent on their personal appearance, home-related and leisure goods and the latest technologies,” Euromonitor analyses.

Games remain expensive, with PS4 titles launching at €65 (58), high compared to the country's average monthly wages of €818 (731).

Language remains a major barrier. Latvian won't be high on many regionalisation lists, though a significant number (34 per cent) speak Russian at home.


KEY RETAILERS

Videogames.lv, GGWP.pro, Elkor, RD Electronics, Capital, 1A

TOP DISTRIBUTORS

SIA iWare Distribution, ACME Computer Components

TOP DEVELOPERS

Ambergames, Game Insight, Innowate, Next Level, MightyFingers, Fun Generation Lab

PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION

Sony, Microsoft


Population: 1,956,000

Capital City: Riga

Currency: Euro

GDP (Per Capita): $15,726.5

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