Digital Drives Strong Aussie Video Games Growth

Written by Martin Kovacs     02/03/2016 | 13:03 | Category: INDUSTRY

The video games industry posted total sales growth of 15 per cent year-on-year in 2015, with digital sales surpassing traditional retail, according to figures released today by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA).

Digital Drives Strong Aussie Video Games GrowthSales reached $2.83 billion, with digital sales growing 27 per cent year-on-year to $1.589 billion and traditional retail increasing by 2 per cent to $1.243 billion.

NPD Group Australia market data 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", IGEA advised.

Additional research commissioned by IGEA from Telsyte confirmed the current generation consoles' popularity has led to increased digital game downloads this year, while PC game downloads also increased, with mobile games continuing to be the largest segment of the digital games ecosystem.

"Digital sales continue to surge in Australia as consumers become increasingly comfortable purchasing downloaded versions and additional content of their favourite games," IGEA CEO
Ron Curry commented.

"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."

While some specific sectors fell last year, such as hardcopy PC games, increased growth from other sectors, most notably within console and mobile gaming, bolstered the market, IGEA noted.
NPD key highlights:

- 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.

Telsyte key highlights:

- 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 the 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.