With annual games revenues reaching $1.5bn (1.08bn), Spain has become the ninth biggest market worldwide and the fourth in Europe last year, outperforming Italy for the first time, according to research firm Newzoo.
The market has grown by eight per cent since 2015 and the beginning of 2016. This is mainly due to a 12 per cent increase in hardware sales, a 12 per cent increase in sales of peripherals and a 50 per cent increase in digital sales at retail,” says GAME Spain's spokesperson.
According to Newzoo, the Spanish industry should keep on growing with a 1.5 per cent annual growth rate until 2018, reaching $1.7bn (1.17bn) by then.
Our expectations for the coming year are optimistic due to the increase of the install base which will suppose a large growth in software sales,” GAME Spain believes.
We are also very positive about new products which are due to be launched such as Nintendo's NX, access to virtual reality by PlayStation, and Oculus, PC products, as well, of course, as the growth trend of the market,” the retailer's representative adds.
90 per cent of Spanish game sales are digital
The Spanish Association for the Game and Entertainment Software Development and Publishing Industry (DEV) is a major actor in the Spanish video games industry. Every year, the association publishes a white paper on video game development in the region.
According to DEV's White Paper for 2015, 90 per cent of Spanish game sales are digital.
About half of all digital sales are channelled through the direct downloading of video games (52 per cent), followed by the free to play model financed by advertising (25 per cent), and the free to play model with integrated in-game purchases (21 per cent),” the association reports.
The market is heading toward digitalisation, but there is still a lot of potential in traditional video game sales. Our own company is active in both physical and digital distribution,” comments David Santos, marketing director for Spanish distributor BadLand Games.
GAME Spain has found a good way to challenge digitalisation: We resist by becoming part of it and by offering our customers the possibility of purchasing digital product at our stores,” states the company's spokesperson.
At the present time, the retail landscape is highly competitive,” he adds.
The most important European retailers have a presence in our country (MediaMarkt, Carrefour, Fnac, El Corte Ingles...) and they all sell video games. In Spain you can find up to three or four places where you can buy video games within the same shopping center.”
But at the moment, the greatest challenge is the global economic situation and in particular some market indicators such as the high unemployment rate, which persists since the recession,” says GAME Spain's representative.
But David Santos at BadLand Games remains optimistic: The spread of broadband in Spain and the process of overcoming the economic crisis that hit in 2008 mean that billing in general and digital billing in particular are growing significantly in our country.
Spain has around 23 million gamers, including 12 million players who spend money on games. They devote an average of $130.65 (90.21) to games per year, according to Newzoo. As a comparison, British players spend an annual average of 112.
Most of them are aged between 20 and 40, says Euromonitor.
With regards to market performance, Sony is the leading company in home consoles in Spain with approximately 60 per cent of the market's total sales,” states GAME Spain's spokesperson.
Nintendo on the other hand is leader with regards to portable devices and accounts for 20 per cent of the market,” he adds.
Spain had around 400 active video games companies in 2014: 70 new firms were created during the year. As a matter of fact, 28 per cent of the Spanish companies launched less than two years ago and 65 per cent of them are under five years old.
Companies that develop games for mobile devices in particular are rising, following the Spanish market's stream towards digitalisation.
According to DEV's White Paper, the turnover of the Spanish video games development industry hit €412.4m (320.2m) in 2014. This figure is 31 per cent higher than in 2013 and is estimated to keep on growing with a 24.7 per cent compound annual growth rate until 2018.
56 per cent of the development industry's turnover comes from exporting, with Europe (24 per cent) and North America (20 per cent) being the biggest markets for Spain.
Asia and Latin America are expanding markets and present a niche of big growth opportunities,” the report concludes.
GDP (Per Capita): $29,863
Capital City: Madrid
GAME, Alcampo, Amazon, Carrefour, El Corte Ingles, Eroski, Fnac, Hipercor, Media Markt, Toys R Us, Worten
Digital Bros, Koch Media, Namco Bandai Partners, BadLand Games, Nobilis, Spaco
Abylight, Akaoni, Black Fire Games, Digital Legends, Enigma, Enjoy Up, Gammick, Gextech, Mercury Steam, Bitoon, FX Interactive, G4M3 Studios, Novarama, Over the Top Games, Pyro Mobile, Social Point, Unusual Studios, Virtual Toys, A Crowd of Monsters, Concano Games, Creama Games, Gato Salvaje Studio, Ilustrum, Ubisoft Barcelona
NOTABLE GAMES FIRMS WITH A LOCAL OFFICE
Ubisoft, EA, Take-Two, Deep Silver, ChildTopia, Friendware, Digital Chocolate, Sony, Nintendo, Activision Blizzard, Microsoft