The Australian Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) has announced another year of strong growth, with sales of interactive entertainment reaching AUS $2.83 billion in 2015. The continuing trend of double digit year-on-year growth saw total sales up 15 per cent from 2014, which is comprised of hardware, packaged games, subscriptions, digital sales and mobile games.
The research released by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) found that the industry saw digital sales grow by 27 per cent over the last year to AUS $1.589 billion to surpass traditional retail sales, which had also increased by 2% to AUS $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.
Now in its third consecutive year, additional research on the digital games market, commissioned by IGEA from analyst firm Telsyte, 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.
“It has been another very strong year of growth for the Australian video games industry,” said Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA. “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. With that being said, there was very clear evidence that there is still a strong appetite for traditional retail purchases, as Telsyte’s research shows that 39 per cent of consumers citing a preference for physical copy for gifting and to collect.”
Overall, 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 hardcopy PC games, the increased growth from other sectors, most notably within console and mobile gaming, bolstered the market as a whole. Arguably as the largest entertainment industry globally, the innovation and variation within the industry points to further growth in years to come.
“Interactive games remains the standout performer in the entertainment industry and in 2015 continued to lead the way in innovation and popular culture,” says Foad Fadaghi, Managing Director, Telsyte.
Key highlights from NPD Group Australia
- 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
Key highlights from Telsyte
- 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
- IGEA has provided a review of the state of the video games industry in Australia since 2009 using commissioned research from NPD Group Australia. With the rapid growth in downloads and mobile gaming, the NPD data has been augmented with research from Telsyte to provide a complete view of the Australian interactive games and entertainment industry.