(Online) gaming in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - Statistics & Facts
The video game markets in both Belgium and the Netherlands continue to grow, with total revenue expected to reach 196 million euros and over one billion euros respectively in 2018. This is partly due to the rise of app-based games on smartphones and tablets and the use of in-game purchases, DLC (downloadable content) and microtransactions. Approximately 3.5 million users were active on mobile games in the Netherlands in 2016. Revenue of physical sales in gaming software on PC and console, excluding full game downloads, amounted to roughly 168 million euros in the Netherlands. This was a slight increase in comparison to the previous year, when the revenue had been just under 160 million euros. Digital revenue, however, exceeded physical revenue due to the shift towards in-game purchases.
Half of gamers from Flanders, Belgium, reported in a 2017 survey not to game on a daily basis, with six percent saying seldom and 44.5 percent indicating less than daily. Roughly 25 percent was indentified as a "frequent gamer", gamers who game for at least one hour a day. 67 percent of the Flemish population aged 15 to 19 years indicated they played games on their mobile phone, opposed to 42 percent of the 15- to 19-year-olds when it comes to the penetration rate of video game consoles such as Playstation 4 and Xbox One (but without Nintendo Switch).
As of 2017, there were around seven million gamers in the Netherlands. Men aged between 21 to 35 years old accounted for approximately 31 percent of all console gamers in the Netherlands with women in the same age group equaling 12 percent. When it comes to online gaming, 26 percent of internet users in 2017 preferred a computer to play online games to other devices such as smartphones or tablets.
Competitive gaming and eSports are getting more attention in the three Benelux countries. As of June 2018, eSporter earnings reached a total of 372,500 U.S. dollars in the Netherlands, with 161,000 U.S. dollars being earned in Belgium and Luxembourgish eSporters earning little under 6,000 U.S. dollars in Luxembourg in professional gaming tournaments. eSports and so-called playthroughs, a video which depicts a game being played from start to finish, are popular ways to watch online videos in the Benelux. Approximately 63 percent of the Flemish respondents indicated in 2017 they watched online videos through YouTube in the last month. This number was considerably less for Twitch, which reached a penetration rate of four percent. Unlike YouTube, however, Twitch focuses exclusively on online gaming and eSports. In comparison, Twitch reached a penetration rate of 36 percent among game stream watchers in 2017 in the Netherlands. In June 2018, YaraskyGaming attracted the most followers on Twitch.tv in the Netherlands with his streams of Fortnite and Cities: Skylines.
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