Video games in Italy, professionals increase but slight decrease in the market

The report on the sector for 2022 prepared by IIDEA, in the presence of the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Culture Borgonzoni

Stable consumption and signs of growth for national production in the video game industry in Italy: this is what emerges. This is what emerges from the report on the sector for 2022 drawn up by IIDEA, the association that represents the reference industry in Italy, presented today at the Casa del Cinema in Rome in the presence of the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Culture Sen. Lucia Borgonzoni. In 2022, the video game market in Italy decreased slightly, achieving a turnover of 2.2 billion euros (-1.2% vs 2021). The software segment, which represents 81.5% of the total market (€1,791 million), recorded a very slight contraction (-0.5%). The sales of console and PC digital software (-1.7%) and apps (-1.3%) mainly undergo a downsizing, which together account for 84.3%, while the sales of physical software, which weigh 15.7%, increased by 5.2%, also due to the return to post-emergency retail stores. Procurement difficulties, on the other hand, represent an obstacle to the growth of the hardware segment, which marks -7.7% compared to 2021, for a total turnover of 409 million euros (18.5% of the total market).

In 2022 there are 14.2 million gamers in Italy between the ages of 6 and 64, with an average age of 29.8 years. 80.9% of gamers are over 18 years old, 19.1% between 6 and 17 years old. 42% are women. Among the preferred platforms, mobile devices are the most used (69.7%), followed by consoles (45.8%) and PC (38%). Average game time returns to pre-pandemic levels, down to 7.52 hours per week from 8.67 the previous year. The national industry grows and consolidates, with the definitive transition from a start-up reality to one of small and medium enterprises. In fact, four out of ten companies today fall within the definition of SMEs: it was 30% in 2021 and just 17% in 2018. In particular, companies with a number of employees between 10 and 20 are increasing, going from 15 % of 2021 to the current 20%. The turnover generated by production companies in 2022 is between 130 and 150 million euros, marking a +30% compared to the previous year and showing strong growth potential. The main destination market remains the European one, which however comes out reduced (from 60% in 2021 to 43%) to the benefit of the North American one, whose incidence on the total goes from 25% in 2021 to 40% in 2022. The weight of the ‘Italy, although slightly increasing (7%).

As for production workers, professionals increase by 50%, going from 1,600 in 2021 to 2,400 in 2022. 83% are under the age of 36, while one in four is a woman. 77% of turnover comes from the B2C market (+9%), while for 75% of Italian developers the PC remains the preferred development platform: followed by mobile (50%) and console (40%). The majority of operators still continue to rely on equity capital to finance their own business (86%), however the financing of public institutions (29% vs 24% in 2021) and that of private companies (19% vs 9%) are increasing ). In particular, the impact of public support for the sector is beginning to be glimpsed, as a direct effect of the implementation of the tax credit and the launch of vertical acceleration programs, as well as the international acquisitions that have recently involved some Italian firms.

“The report confirms the importance of the video game industry in the country’s digital, cultural and creative economy. Never before has a national strategy for the development of the sector appeared necessary, also in the light of the recent Resolution of the European Parliament approved last November, so that Italy can assume a leadership role”, declared Marco Saletta, President of IIDEA. “The introduction of the tax credit for the production of video games represents an important stimulus for the growth of the Italian industry. But for further consolidation, a national support policy for SMEs and talents to be developed in our country becomes essential. Collaboration with the school world is also important, video games can be a very useful tool for students’ digital literacy, transversal skills and creative thinking”. the Undersecretary of State Lucia Borgonzoni added: “An increasingly expanding industry, with strong potential yet to be expressed, capable of fueling culture through an innovative language. Well aware of the strategic elements that characterize the entrepreneurial realities of our country in the video game sector”, the Ministry looks with great attention to these as well as to all the new forms of expression of Italian creativity, which we support (and Italy is among the few countries in the world to do so) with the tax credit tool. We are working and will continue to work to implement a series of measures dedicated to cultural and creative enterprises with a view to protecting and promoting Made in Italy in the world”.