In Focus Jan 21, 2021

The games industry in Bavaria: more than just computer games

While many industries worldwide are struggling with massive losses due to the corona crisis, the games industry in Bavaria looks promising. The games industry is systematically continuing the upward trend of recent years and technologies such as extended and virtual reality are becoming increasingly important. Pioneering gaming developments find the perfect location in Bavaria to create new digitalisation opportunities for companies beyond the industry and promote cross-industry innovation.

For example, games are being developed today that depict and optimise our everyday life or even offer medical professionals help with treatment. Games developments benefit from easier access thanks to smartphones and tablets. This becomes very clear with a look at the games industry’s shares. Studies by the portal, for example, show that the share prices of many games companies listed on the stock exchange are rising continuously. Video games have now firmly established themselves in our everyday lives, even outside “gaming rooms” – but the games industry in Bavaria can do much more than just video games. The games scene is inextricably linked to the digital industry and often offers disruptive developments when it comes to digitalisation in companies and public institutions.

Industry of the future: the games industry in Bavaria

Games have long since developed far beyond their mere entertainment value in society and are now an important economic factor – in Bavaria too. One example of use beyond the pure fun factor are so-called serious games, which are also programmed by Bavarian game developers. These games are able to analyse individual production processes by playing through them virtually. They provide a basis for systematically optimising processes.

Bavaria is one of the top 3 locations for the games sector in Germany as a whole, according to a study by the vbw, published in 2020. The Bavarian games industry consists of 118 companies (90 of which are located in the state capital of Munich) with a total turnover of 560 million euros. These figures position Bavaria alongside Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia in the games industry’s top rankings in Germany.

Games industry actively promoted in Bavaria

Bavaria has long since recognised the potential of the games industry. For example, the virtual reality segment in Bavaria benefits from targeted and growing funding to make the location more attractive. The FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF Bayern) and network platforms, such as the vbw and the Games Bavaria umbrella brand with head office in Werk1, the centre for digital start-ups in Munich, support the industry. Promoting networks is also one of the aspects that has shifted the digitalisation offensive’s focus onto the games industry in Bavaria. In 2019, the FFF Bayern provided the games industry with over two million euros in funding.

Extended reality (XR)

Extended reality (XR), which also includes augmented and virtual reality , are significantly shaped by the games industry. The industry’s influences can be seen in the most diverse areas of application today:


  • Healthcare
  • Construction and architecture
  • In educational institutions
  • In direct sales
  • In industry

As a media location, Bavaria is an important hub between users and players in the games industry. The XR Hub Bavaria brings together players in Bavaria’s games industry and offers start-ups a wide range of opportunities to test ideas and find the right partner companies. Creative minds meet at the three locations in Munich, Nuremberg and Würzburg. The project is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Digital Affairs .

Minister of State Judith Gerlach, Member of the Federal State Parliament, together with the head of the XR HUB Nuremberg, Inci Strauß, and the city of Nuremberg’s economic advisor, Dr Michael Fraas, at the presentation of the funding decision. Bavaria supports the XR HUB in Middle Franconia with around 150,000 euros per year.

Focus on digital start-up centres

avarian start-ups from the games industry can find further support in terms of networking and the interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge at the Zentrum für Digitale Innovationen (ZDI) Mainfranken in Würzburg. Knowledge from the Julius-Maximilians Universität in Würzburg, the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg Schweinfurt, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and a total of 30 companies in the region is bundled there. Science meets business for innovations in the games industry in Bavaria too. Digital start-ups can also find the perfect partner in Upper Franconia: the Lagarde 1 in Bamberg offers a technology savvy community with suitable partners for networking, developing cross-industry innovation and promoting new ideas. The centre offers co-working, coaching and contacts to potential business partners. Find out more about the 27 digital incubators in Bavaria and our “Ois Easy” start-up programme here .