[ES] The Spanish video games industry experiences a 12% annual growth and reaffirms its strategic position
Azahara Cañedo & Marta Rodriguez Castro
The Spanish Video Game Association (Asociación española de videojuegos – AEVI) has launched its new yearbook ‘The video game industry in Spain in 2022’, which shows that the video game industry occupies a strategic place within the Spanish cultural and creative industries. After the previous growth experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, during 2022 the video games industry in Spain grew by 12% compared to the previous year.
Both the reform of the Legal Deposit Law (Law 8/2022) and the implementation of the Spain Audiovisual Hub Plan are highlighted as drivers of the trend. On the one hand, in May 2022, video games were recognised by law with a specific category in the typology of cultural creations. On the other hand, last year the line of funding for the promotion of the video game industry was increased. In this sense, AEVI’s report revalidates the interest of the Spanish Government in protecting and preserving this industry as part of Spain's cultural heritage at a key geostrategic moment: the start of Spain's presidency of the Council of the European Union.
For the first time, the Spanish video game industry has surpassed the EUR 2 000 million turnover barrier, an increment mainly linked to the 30% increase in online turnover. This growth directly translates into job creation. In Spain there are 618 video game studios with a total of 6 187 employees, most of them located in the regions of Madrid and Catalonia. This fact makes the video game industry a driving force for the national audiovisual sector. Moreover, the report sees esports as an opportunity to turn Spain into an international benchmark.
In terms of consumption, the report states that more than 9.5 million men and 8.5 million women play video games in Spain. A total of 18 million players make this industry the preferred entertainment option for Spaniards, ahead of cinema or TV series. However, the number of hours of gaming per week has fallen by 8%, placing Spain in fifth place in Europe with an average of 7.42 hours.
All in all, the importance of the video game industry for the Spanish economy has repercussions not only at the national level, as some regions have recently launched their own lines of funding for this thriving sector. In Galicia, for instance, the Galician Creative Industry Hub established for the first time in 2022 a specific line of action for the promotion of the emerging video games industry in the region (Agadic, 2022). Funded through the REACT-EU package, the region allocated EUR 180 000 for the development of video games (of the EUR 500 000 that were budgeted for that purpose).
- Law 8/2022 of 4 May amending Law 23/2011 of 29 July 2011 on Legal Deposit
- Agadic (2022). Resolution of 21 April 2022 establishing the regulatory bases for the granting, on a competitive basis, of aid for the promotion of video games under the Galician Creative Industry Hub programme, financed 100% by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the REACT-EU axis of the ERDF Galicia 2014-2020 operational programme, as part of the European Union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and calling for applications for the 2022 financial year (procedure code CT207K).
- The video game industry in Spain - Yearbook 2022
This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.