The growth of the video game sector in recent years in Spain is more than obvious. Whatever the platform used -computer, mobile, console, etc.-, dedicating time to these games is one of the main forms of entertainment. Moreover, the number of players in some of them has increased notably after lockdown due to the pandemic and has been steadily growing. Such is the cultural importance that video games are acquiring in that they have been included in the audio-visual sector promotion plan, in which the government will invest more than 1.5 billion euros.
Some 42% of the Spanish population plays video games and, despite what is often said, they are not just ” kids’ stuff”. It all depends on which game and platform we are referring to. In general terms, only around 21% of these players are 18 years old or younger. And we should also note that, while the number of men who play games has always been higher, the number of women gamers has increased by around 20% in the last few years.
It is estimated that 2 to 4 hours a day are spent on this activity, with only 10% of players spending more than 5 hours a day. The main access point is through mobile phones, as it can be enjoyed anywhere and at any time. In fact, games have been developed requiring physical movement to achieve goals or even complete the game, as in the case of Pokémon Go. If we talk about the most popular game par excellence on this platform in recent years, the uncontested winner is Candy Crush. Not only in Spain, but all around the world, it continues to be one of the games that currently generates the most money.
The impact of video games
Computer games are rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with, occupying second place in the ranking. Especially thanks to their online modes, computer games are constantly being updated, which means that they maintain a high level of attraction. It has also broken the stigma around the stereotypical gamer profile that was described as antisocial. Whether in competitive or collaborative mode, gamers prefer to share games with friends or fellow gamers.
– Fortnite (Epic Games): this “battle royal” genre game, in which up to 100 players fight until there is only one left, generates $4 million a day, although it is not the only one to move in these figures. Reaching almost 3.5 million simultaneous players, the main platforms on which the game is played are computer and console.
– FIFA (EA Sports): this football videogame has been published annually for almost 30 years and has a 23% loyalty rate, including real sportsmen. It continues to break records in terms of sports simulation, achieving 100 million sales. In fact, this game, mostly for console, is the best-selling game in Spain.
– League of Legends (Riot Games): has been recognised as the most played video game in the world with 80 million active players. This computer game belongs to the “multiplayer online battle arena” genre and its world championship has more than 100 million viewers. Year after year, it continues to strengthen its position as one of the online games that generates the most revenue, behind Fortnite.
– Call of Duty (Activision): this war genre video game increased its sales figures by 40 % last year. More than 200 million console and computer gamers around the world spend many hours playing this “first-person shooter” saga. It has turned out to be one of the most profitable games in history: last year it had a revenue of 3 billion dollars.
– GTA (Rockstar Games): this saga of console video games, although also played on computer, has reached 325 million copies in sales. GTA V has become the second best-selling game in history and, years after its launch, has regularly 130 000 players in its online multiplayer version. This action-adventure video game is the most expensive video game in history in terms of production.
– Among Us (InnerSloth): the pandemic was the catalyst for this game’s success. It is an online multiplayer game in which an impostor must be found among a series of crew members. It does not generate much revenue, but on both mobile and desktop it has reached 500 million active users. A new version has recently been developed.
An interesting fact
It is important to remember that the South American market increases considerably the distribution of these games. On rare occasions and for certain games, the Spanish or English versions are the same. If someone from Mexico or Colombia were to read this, they might think we are crazy, but the reality is that the differences when it comes to producing games for Spanish speakers is ephemeral.
Ana Fariñas Ramos