Territory Report: Nordic countries - MCV

Territory Report: Nordic countries

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Boxed game sales continue to be a core driver of the Nordic games market, despite a recent decline at games retail in the region.

According to the Association for the Nordic Game Industry (ANGI), in 2014, the value of Nordic retail sales decreased by 18 per cent.

More games were sold on PS3 at Nordic retail during 2014 than any other console, with the machine shifting 2.3 million software units.

This total was almost double the sales on its successor, the PS4, which sold the second-most amount of games during the year with 1.2 million units purchased by gamers.

However, Sony's new console is clearly on the rise, seeing 1,168 per cent growth year-on-year in software sales compared to the 38 per cent decline of the PS3.

In terms of volume, PlayStation dominated the Nordic games retail landscape last year – between PS3 and PS4, Sony claimed over 48 per cent of the software market.

Comparatively, Xbox One and Xbox 360 collectively held just under one fifth of market share. PC, meanwhile, comprised 16 per cent of the sector.

Sweden takes the lion's share of the Nordic games industry, with more than a third (36 per cent) of the market in terms of both volume and value.

Norway is the second-largest region for games, contributing a quarter of the territory's business. Denmark and Finland both account for approximately a fifth of the region's market.

36%
Sweden comprises over a third of the Nordic games industry

The Nordic multi-platform retail charts are very similar to the most popular games in the UK.

The best-selling title of 2014 was FIFA 15, followed by Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Much like in Britain, the action genre is far-and-away the most popular type of game available.

The genre comprised a quarter of the market in 2014, with sports proving second-most popular, with a 16 per cent share – ahead of the shooter category's 14 per cent market share.

Sweden may be the biggest games market in the Nordic region, but 2014 saw the country's industry suffer as retail sales fell by 15 per cent.

This came despite the growth of both new-generation consoles; annual PS4 and Xbox One software sales rose by 905 and 8,003 per cent, respectively.

PC games did fall, dropping by over a fifth. However, Jacob Kroon,communications officer for Swedish Games Industry,says that the platform will remain popular for local developers.

PC is an evergreen in Sweden, and mobile is the top grower,” he told MCV.

Mobile is a very important factor, but it's vital to remember that the industry is growing as a whole, and recent success with mobile has led some countries to more or less abandon PC and other ‘traditional' platforms.

Sweden, on the other hand, has always had, and continues to have, a strong focus on PC games as a stepping stone to greatness across the board.”

Approximately 20 major specialist games chains exist in Sweden, with a quarter of these contributing the majority of revenue.

New titles tend to cost around the same as they do in the UK; PS4 games retail on average for €58.93 (41.12), while Xbox One software is slightly cheaper at €55.98 (39.06).

The average price of any game for any platform is €36.32 (25.34).

"Sweden has always had a strong focus on PC games as a stepping stone to greatness across the board."

Jacob Kroon, ANGI

Sweden's healthy landscape for games has led to the formation of several major firms in the country – several of which have been purchased by global games giants for huge sums.

Minecraft creator Mojang hails from the region, and was acquired for $2.5 billion by Microsoft in November 2014.

Meanwhile, mobile behemoth King was recently picked up by Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion.

The territory's preference for PC titles has encouraged the success of niche publishers such as Paradox Interactive on the global stage – the firm's simulation title Cities: Skylines would have been crowned as the best-selling title in the UK back in March had digital data been included in the official charts.

Countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland

Population: 26,613,758

GDP (Per Capita): $53,977

Languages: Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Greenlandic, Sami

Currency: Euro

TOP DEVELOPERS

Paradox Interactive, King, Mojang, Raw Fury Games, DICE, Avalanche Studios, Stardoll, IO Interactive, Playdead, Interceptor Entertainment, Press Play, Novasa Interactive, Reto-Moto, Krillbite Studio, Rain Games, Funcom, Red Thread Games, Dirtybit, D-Pad Studio, Turbo Tape Games, Ravn Studio, Serious Games Interactive, Krillbite Studio, Rain Games, Funcom, Red Thread Games, Dirtybit, D-Pad Studio, Turbo Tape Games, Ravn Studio

KEY RETAILERS

Webhallen, Elgiganten, Discshop, Coolshop, CDON, Coop, Platekompaniet, Gucca, BilligeSpil, Dvdoo, DVD City, GameStop

TOP DISTRIBUTORS

Koch Media, Nordic Games, Bergsala, Game Outlet, Nordic Game Supply, Creative Distribution, Nordisk Film Distribution, Pan Vision

LOCAL PUBLISHERS

Activision Blizzard, EA, Deep Silver, Disney, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Sony, Warner Bros, Bandai Namco, Nordic Games, The Game Factory, Nintendo

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