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Videogames ahead (slowly): turnover at 2.3 billion and Italy in the top 5 in Europe

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Videogames ahead (slowly): turnover at 2.3 billion and Italy in the top 5 in Europe

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The photograph taken by IIDEA (Italian Interactive & Digital Entertainment Association), the association representing the video game industry in Italy, is sufficiently clear: in 2023 the turnover of the video game sector exceeded 2.3 billion euros and the Italian market is confirmed among the top five most important in Europe. Thanks above all to the arrival of the new consoles in stock, which represent the main driver of this market, with sales up by 70%, and the related demand for accessories, up by 46%. The growth compared to 2022, quantified at 5%, is not one of the bombastic ones but there is no doubt that the world of gaming has once again demonstrated that it is keeping up, despite a macroeconomic context that is certainly not easy. The general good health of this sector, the IIDEA leaders point out, is also confirmed by the parameter that measures the development of turnover from 2019 to today, calculated at 28%.

Hardware is growing in double digits and is worth a third of the market

We can speak of a real boom in the video game hardware segment, which has recorded a 63% year-on-year increase in the last twelve months to reach 665 million euros, of which 487 million coming from console sales and the remaining 178 million generated by purchases of accessories. Definitely different numbers that characterize the performance of the software, which remains by far the most relevant segment of the gaming ecosystem in Italy, with an estimated value of 1.6 billion euros in 2023 (71% of the total market) despite the decline of 8%. The balance sheet of new video games is decent, as we said, the market of which has risen to 777 million euros: physical distribution channels contributed to approximately half of this figure (46% to be precise) while the remaining 54 % was the prerogative of digital sales channels. According to the indications that emerged in the IIDEA study, for the current year we can reasonably expect a new recovery in the software segment, by virtue of the fact that gamers will want to have a larger library of games available on their new consoles.

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The profile of Italian gamers

The figure may surprise most but is not new to professionals: in 2023, video gamers in Italy are down 8% compared to the previous year but we are still talking about 13 million individuals, i.e. 31% of the population between 6 to 64 years old and with a peak of enthusiasts concentrated in the 15-24 year old and 45-64 year old groups (3.2 and 3.1 million people respectively). Examining their profile in detail, they are mainly men (61% of the total) with an average age of 30 years, while there are 4.9 million female video gamers (38%, with 1% of users who are not identified by sex) and have an average age of just over 31 years. Occasional video gamers, i.e. those who pick up joysticks and consoles once a month or less, have particularly thought about reducing the size of the Italian gamer community (the general average gaming time is around 6.53 hours a week and 73% of gamers watch the video at least an hour a week). This trend, we read in the note accompanying the study, is in line with what was found in the same period in the main European markets and is the reflection of a total recovery of post-pandemic activities and the desire to spend more free time outside of home walls.

The most used devices and best-selling titles

Even in 2023, mobile devices are the preferred means of playing games for Italians, with 9.2 million people using smartphones or tablets to enjoy the Brain/Puzzle, Trivia and role-playing/strategy genres. Consoles follow, with 5.6 million users who challenge each other in particular on sports, racing and shooter genre titles, followed by personal computers, chosen by 4.6 million enthusiasts who mainly engage in strategy, shooter and sports titles (14%). one hour less than in 2022. This figure is also in line with the main European markets and determined by the definitive recovery of post-pandemic activities. Finally, in the top 10 of the best-selling video games in 2023, the new chapter of the EA SPORTS FC 24 football series is once again at the top of the ranking, accompanied on the podium by Hogwarts Legacy, the saga set in the magical universe of the Harry Potter books , and the war franchise Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. Closing the hit parade is the famous Japanese horror film Resident Evil 4.

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