news The Australian video games industry grew significantly in 2015, resulting in overall sales of $2.83bn, according to figures from the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA).
The figure represents a 15% increase from 2014, and arises from sales of hardware, packaged games, subscriptions, digital sales and mobile games. Notably, the announcement marks the second consecutive year of double-digit growth for the gaming industry.
Breaking down the figures, the industry saw digital sales grow by 27% in 2015 to reach $1.589 billion. This surpasses traditional retail sales, which also increased by 2% to $1.243 billion.
Data from NPD Group Australia, a market research provider, reveals that the rapid adoption of current-generation gaming consoles (such as the Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U and Sony PlayStation 4) has driven growth of software and related products such as accessories, interactive toys and games, and subscription cards (up 12.2%).
Console sales also rose by 9% compared with last year.
Additional research on the digital games market, commissioned by IGEA from analyst firm Telsyte, indicates that the shift to consoles has also led to increased digital game downloads this year, with 13% growth year on year. Telsyte found that digital products now comprise over half of the total games market, accounting for 56% of sales.
PC game downloads have also increased, with mobile games continuing to represent the largest segment of the digital games ecosystem, the IGEA said.
“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,” Curry added. “This has had a flow-on effect to the increased sale of both packaged games and digital content.”
However, Telsyte’s figures indicate that there is still an appetite for traditional retail purchases, with 39% of consumers saying they preferred a physical copy for gifts or collections.
Overall, the choice of content delivery mechanisms within the industry has been a “key component” of its overall growth, the IGEA said.
While some sectors of the gaming industry fell in 2015, such as hardcopy PC games, the increased growth from other sectors, lifted 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,” said the IGEA.
Foad Fadaghi, Managing Director of Telsyte, commented: “Interactive games remains the standout performer in the entertainment industry and in 2015 continued to lead the way in innovation and popular culture.”
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