New hardware spurs strong growth for video games sales in Australia

Large increase in particular for digital sales and mobile gaming

Research released by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) shows strong growth for video games sales in Australia in 2014. The research highlights sales of $1.214 billion in the traditional retail market for games, up 7 per cent over 2013’s figures, and $1.248 billion for digital sales, an increase of 39 per cent.

The big driver for all of this was console gaming, with growth in the sales of PS4, Xbox, and Wii U consoles hitting 47 per cent.

In a media release, IGEA’s CEO, Ron Curry, said “bricks and mortar retailers have seen a boost in demand for the current generation consoles which in turn has lead to an increase in demand for new console software and accessories and items such as game cards". He added that "tremendous growth in digital sales shows that publishers and developers are effectively catering to the purchasing habits of an increasingly connected customer base”.

Data from the NPD Group Australia suggest that the PS4 and Xbox had the best sales of any console hardware within the first 12 months of their availability.

Additional research by analyst firm, Telsyte, reveals 39 per cent growth for mobile games, digital downloads, and subscriptions in 2014.

There was a year-on-year jump of 56 per cent in mobile app downloads, which contributed greatly to the growth in digital sales, with games accounting for more than half of the mobile app revenue in Australia. In-app purchases account for the majority of this revenue.

Managing director at Telsyte, Foad Fadaghi, attributes the growth in mobile gaming to the release better hardware capable of running premium content. “In 2014, a number of factors improved the mobile gaming experience, including larger screen smartphones, faster graphics processing and wider availability of premium games and titles. Clearly tablet and smartphone gaming has gone beyond being just a casual gaming platform”.

Telsyte cites online, in-game purchases as the fastest growing gaming segment, and says it’s driven by adventure games that offer new levels, missions, and map packs as extras.

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