Australian Bureau of Statistics Releases Data On Local Games Industry

Australian Bureau of Statistics Releases Data On Local Games Industry

statistics_left.jpgThe ABS has released hard numbers on the state of our local games industry. Don’t be shy – the data is available to anyone who wants to read it, including tech-savvy amphibians, extra-terrestrials and my grandma.

While there’s a lot of interesting info in the report, I found the opening paragraphs the most poignant:

At end June 2007, there were 45 businesses in Australia involved in the provision of digital game development services. These businesses employed over 1,400 people and generated a total income of $136.9m which represented an average of $3m per business.

Sadly, these numbers contrast poorly with the industry’s expenses:

Total expenses incurred for the same period were $128.5m. Almost two-thirds of this amount was attributable to labour costs ($83.8m).

Two-thirds in labour costs? If this doesn’t stick a massive flashing sign on just how much a 40% tax rebate is needed, I don’t know what will.

Hit the jump for a press release from the Game Developers Association of Australia, which includes a few words from president Tom Crago.

GDAA Welcomes ABS Data on Games Industry

MELBOURNE – Thursday 10 April, 2008 – The GDAA welcomes the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data on the Games Industry in Australia – see:[email protected]/mf/8515.0?OpenDocument

” The Australian game development industry is growing at a rapid rate,” said Tom Crago, President of the GDAA. “We’re seeing year-on-year increases of around 15%, which emphasises both the strength and potential of the industry here in Australia. In an environment where many other industries are contracting, Australian game development is going from strength to strength.”

Games developed for console formats (e.g. PS2, PS3, Xbox, Wii) accounted for nearly three-quarters (71.1% or $83.2 million) of game development services income. Games developed for PC and Mac formats accounted for 14.6% ($17.1 million). Two states – Queensland and Victoria – accounted for the majority of game development income (40.4% and 33.2% respectively) and employment (48.6% and 33%).

CEO of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA) Greg Bondar said whilst the data highlights the fact that the game industry is a hugely successful export earner, it should be noted that the data understates the value and size of the industry somewhat, in that it does not include companies that are ancillary to the industry such as art production houses, and audio providers.

About the Game Developers Association of Australia:
The Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA) was established in December 1999. Today, the association comprises corporate members from game development companies and educational institutions, associate corporate members (in service sectors that support the industry), individuals and students.

The main purpose of the GDAA is to increase the profile of the Australian electronic games industry both domestically and internationally in order to:

• Promote the growth of the game industry in Australia
• Represent the interests of GDAA members
• Attract capital and publishers from offshore and increase local investment
• Retain and attract the talent that exists in the local industry
• Promote a sense of community within the industry

Stats and facts about the games industry:
• The Australian games industry is worth an estimated $140 million per year
• Australians spend over A$2 million per day on interactive computer games
• Total sales in 2006 for the industry was $1 billion
• Annual compound growth of the industry is 12.3%
• 12.5m games were sold in 2006
• 6.1m video game consoles have been sold since 2000
• 3.6m Australian households have a video game console
• 4.8million Australian households have an internet enabled PC which is capable of playing games
• The average age of gamers is 28 years
• 60%of gamers are male and 40% female
• 35% of gamers are parents and 8% are seniors
• Families are an integral part of playing games
• 8,500 Australians are directly employed in the video game industry in 2007

Digital Game Development Services, Australia, 2006-07 [Australian Bureau of Statistics]


  • They should have spent more time on this study; considering how it takes longer than a year to finish a game.

  • “These businesses employed over 1,400 people …”

    “8,500 Australians are directly employed in the video game industry in 2007”

    Hmm, what happened to the 7100 people? Why did they not appear in the ABS survey?

  • If you look at the ABS figures, out of the 136.9 million in income, only 1.7 million came from “government funding”. Not sure is this relates to only Federal or Federal and State, but it’s a bit small. I wonder how it compares to other industries?

  • Labour cost is traditionally the highest cost in software development. not sure why that is a surprise.

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