Research commissioned by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) found sales hit $2.83 billion last year with sales up 15 per cent from 2014. Sales are comprised of hardware, packaged games, subscriptions, digital sales and mobile games.
Internationally, the industry saw digital sales grow by 27 per cent over the last year to $1.589 billion to surpass traditional retail sales, which had also increased by 2 per cent to $1.243 billion.
Market data from NPD Group Australia found that the rapid adoption of the current generation console hardware has driven growth of software and ancillary products including, accessories, interactive toys and games and subscription cards.
This is the third year analyst firm, Telsyte, has conducted the study. The latest report confirmed that the popularity of the current generation consoles has led to increased digital game downloads this year. Similarly, PC game downloads have also increased and mobile games continue to be largest segment of the digital games ecosystem.
CEO of IGEA chief executive, Ron Curry, said digital sales continue to surge in Australia as consumers become increasingly comfortable purchasing downloaded versions and additional content of their favourite games.
“The current generation of consoles have been adopted rapidly by Australians, highlighting that gaming culture has become well and truly mainstream in the intervening years. This has had a flow on effect to the increased sale of both packaged games and digital content,” he added.
Digital is the dominant method of purchase but research also shows that 39 per cent of consumers cited a preference for physical copy for gifting and to collect.
The dats indicates that the wide variety of content delivery mechanisms within the industry has been a key component of its overall growth. While some specific sectors within the video games industry fell in 2015 such as hard copy PC games, the increased growth from other sectors, especially console and mobile gaming, bolstered the market as a whole.
Australia’s gaming industry at a glance
- Video games industry growth has been led by the console sector, with current generation (Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U and Sony PlayStation 4) consoles increasing in sales volume compared to 2014 by 9 per cent
- Console software was the best performing category experiencing 13 per cent growth in revenue over last year
- Strong platform sales had a flow on effect to other areas, as the console accessories market grew in value by 12.2 per cent over 2014 data
- Over half (59 per cent) of game units sold were classified as G, PG or M
- Digital is now greater than half of the total games market accounting for 56 per cent of sales
- Digital extras, which include season passes, map packs and game expansions, boomed with 53 per cent growth in 2015
- Games publishers are increasingly adopting the in-game purchase business model which is greatly contributing to the growth of digital extras market
- Physical products in the games market remain important with consumers indicating a preference for physical copies when purchasing as a gift or as a collectable or where there might be technical limitations such as download speeds or data caps
NPD data has been augmented with research from Telsyte to provide a view of the Australian interactive games and entertainment industry.