Digital Is Now Leading The Way In Australia's $3 Billion Video Game Industry

The Australian video games industry has grown in total sales by 15 per cent, reaching over $2.83 billion in 2015. And for the first time, digital sales have surpassed traditional retail -- accounting for 56 per cent of revenue.

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The research released today by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) found that 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.

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.

Riding the wave of the new generation of consoles (Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U and Sony PlayStation 4), they are leading the way in terms of sales -- both for hardware and software. Current generation console sales increased from 2014 by 9 per cent, while console software increased in revenue by 13 per cent. Console accessory sales also went up -- by 12.2 per cent.

While R rated games gain a lot of mainstream media attention, over half (59 per cent) of game units sold were classified as G, PG or M.

Digital extras, such as season passes, map packs and game expansions, also grew in sales -- by 53 per cent. In-game purchases being adopted by puiblishers in one of the main factors for this massive growth.


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    Given it costs you $30 more for a game that doesn't need to be printed, packaged, and shipped half way around the world, and then can't be sold, I'm pretty surprised.

    Me personally? Most of my game library now is digital this gen, but I buy from the US or other stores where they were cheaper than AU bricks and mortar, and are now roughly on par or a little bit more.

    I refuse to support the rip off AU digital stores.

      It's disgusting how much more expensive Xbox One games available digitally are compared to the disc version. If the price was even, or even $5 more (a little extra for the convenience of never having to swap out discs in your console) then I'd do it. You just have to wait for the big sales online. Surprisingly, games sold at JB Hifi and EB are pretty competitive vs global shops.

        Look I personally prefer the convenience. But $5 more for a product that doesn't need to be printed and sent half way around the world is still a load of crap. They should at worst be the same price.

        The problem is from the distributors point of view, they're full RRP. No bricks and mortar sell at RRP, or they wouldn't have customers.

    Gee, I wonder given that its a high-tech, innovative industry with double digit growth, if the Libs will be jumping on it with their Innovation to drive jobs and growth agenda they can't stop talking about...

    First signs showed grants related to that agenda specifically excluded game development...

    Because It was always going to be a bit of a joke when the ludicrously conservative party tried its hand at innovation.

    Nintendo's eShop isn't a subscription service. Why is its icon present? This kind of undermines their study a bit when they can't associate the data they are collecting with the correct sources....

    i guess the only way there will ever be any action in the way of grants and help to the games industry is maybe we need a politician who plays games as that seems to be the way things will get done.I'm 59 and love my games so we need just like the movie industry to help our home grown talent at this level otherwise it will be bye bye to them as they head overseas.

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