European video game industry publishes annual report on key facts: authoritative data on the sector for 2020


Ahead of the world’s largest online video game event, gamescom, and after a year of unprecedented challenges, ISFE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe) and EGDF (European Games Developer Federation) are releasing their first collaborative set of ?? Key Facts ??. The report represents the pooling of data from the European industry, from the smallest European studios to the largest companies, creating the most concise and comprehensive picture of the video game industry in Europe to date.

“There is no doubt the challenges we all faced during the global pandemic, but our industry has been uniquely positioned to support society by connecting people while they were physically apart. We provided vital points of social connection and interaction, provided entertainment, distraction, and much needed escape. We have helped keep our players in good mental and physical health, supported educational initiatives, leveraged our reach to communicate public health messages, and made financial contributions to relief funds. Throughout this time, we have remained steadfast in our efforts to advance diversity, support the global environmental agenda, and maintain our commitment to responsible play and the safety of children. In many ways, we’ve been able to bring people together and highlight how video games can be a force for good.

Olaf Coenen, President of ISFE

In 2020, the gaming industry went through one of the biggest transformations in recent history. On-site meetings, developer meetings, and conferences suddenly took a big turn towards remote working, which brought whole new management and mental health challenges. Start-up entrepreneurs were particularly faced with new challenges that put the future of their business at risk. Now, in 2021, I’m incredibly proud of what our industry as a whole has been able to overcome. We have demonstrated that, despite these challenges, we are not only among the most pandemic-resistant sectors of our society, but that we have even managed to prosper greatly and are now well positioned to be a driving force behind the Europe’s economic recovery “

Hendrik Lesser, President of EGDF

Highlights 2020 ?? strong points

  • Revenue across the EU and UK is ?? 23.3 billion (?? 17.6 billion in the main European markets surveyed by GameTrack (IPSOS MORI)
  • European turnover increased by 22% compared to 18% in 2017, 15% in 2018 and 3% in 2019
  • Consoles continue to generate a large portion of total revenue (accounting for 44%). Digital revenue continues to grow, representing 80% of total revenue (76% in 2019).
  • More than 50% of Europeans aged 6 to 64 play video games. The average age of video game players in the EU is 31, and the fastest growing age group is 45-64.
  • During the pandemic, esports audience grew by 9.82%
  • Women represent 47% of video game players in the EU
  • The sector provides 86,953 jobs across Europe
  • Average weekly video game play time increased during lockdowns, but returned to pre-pandemic averages when restrictions were relaxed
  • ISFE became a corporate ambassador for Women In Games and joined the Playing for the Planet Alliance, facilitated by the United Nations.
  • Pan-European self-regulation and co-regulation for the protection of minors: 38 countries in Europe use the PEGI age classification and descriptor system for video games and we now have 14 national consumer education programs in place across Europe to raise awareness of PEGI, parental control tools and responsible gameplay
  • 97% of parents of children who play video monitor their children’s spending on gaming
    (2019 data)

The full report is available here. The data used in the publication is taken from the GameTrack, GSD, EGDF and Newzoo reports. Any journalist interested in topics relevant to ISFE is invited to contact 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 gaming ecosystem is heard and understood, that its creative and economic potential is supported and celebrated, and that gamers around the world continue to enjoy great gaming experiences. video game. ISFE represents the video game industry in Europe and is based in Brussels, Belgium. Our members include national trade associations in 18 countries across Europe which in turn represent thousands of developers and publishers nationally. ISFE also has among its direct members the main European and international video game companies.

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