Aussies Spent $3.23 Billion On Games Last Year

Aussies Spent $3.23 Billion On Games Last Year

Australians love their video games. So much so that we spent $3.23 billion on games and game-related hardware, according to new figures released today.

Data collated by NPD Group and Telsyte has revealed that Aussies spent $2.054 billion on digital game sales last year, while physical retail sales totalled $1.176 billion.

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, which announced the data today, said there was growth across “the entire industry”. “There was lots of love shown and nostalgia for old favourites – both hardware and games,” IGEA CEO Ron Curry said in a release.

“Australians enjoy buying products in-store, where they can seek out hands-on experiences and advice from retail staff, and similarly they are very comfortable downloading full games and additional content.”

According to Telsyte, which conducted the research on digital sales, digital downloads rose by 16 per cent last year while digital subscriptions rose by 14 per cent for the same period. Mobile games alone accounted for more than $1 billion of revenue in the Australian games industry, however, while physical retail sales rose by 11 per cent.

Console hardware, software and accessories also saw an uptick last year, partially influenced by the success of the Nintendo Switch and the release of the Xbox One X.

“Telsyte expects the market to remain strong in 2018 with continued push to digital platforms and subscription models by leading publishers,” Foad Fadaghi, managing director of Telsyte, predicted.

The data from NPD and Telsyte also found that $51.5 million was spent in Australia on PC games, games guides, games cards and portable games hardware and accessories.

Aussies Spent $3.23 Billion On Games Last Year


  • I know you’d never get them on board to reveal it, as it could potentially hurt their business model and reveal it’s flaws, but I’d love to know how much of our spend is the “Reinvest” component. All those games that get traded into EbGames and Gametraders as credit, and therefore aren’t actually new spend into the market.

  • Hey Australian government, see any good reasons to seriously invest in this industry?

    I see over 3 billion of them.

    • They’ll invest when they work out a taxation model that hinders the industry but benefits the pollies retirement coffers…

    • That’s not how it works.

      “Australians spent $X bil on movie/TVshows” does not correlate to “Australians will spend $X bil on Australian-produced movie/TVshows”.

      Same with games. Run some numbers. With investment, how many games does Australia pump out compared to the rest of the world? Lets say y%. Ok, so y% of worldwide games are Made in Australia, thus its likely y% of the $3bil Aussies spent was spent on local resources. Add in some worldwide numbers. Are those numbers worthwhile for the gov? I dunno, you likely dunno, cos we don’t have numbers.

      Secondly, why should gov invest? You can clearly see that Some Shitty Mobile App with microtransactions can roll in the dough, so why do they need government backing? I’ve never seen an answer.

      • For your first point, sure it’s an international market. The point is that it is big and growing, as shown by the $3B figure.

        For the second one, government support is a great way to grow a new industry and bring in private investment. Games (and apps, which you mentioned) are expensive to make and can take a long time to bring to market, which might turn off private investors. It would be especially hard for new developers that might not have a proven track record yet.

        Also, your argument makes no sense. If mobile apps make lots of money, then surely the government should invest lots of money into the industry and watch the tax dollars roll in.

    • Serious question, why should / would the government invest in games? Why can’t private companies do this themselves.

      • Yes, private companies can cover this investment. But that is not the reason the government should invest.
        The government should invest to grow an industry in Australia. We should want companies incorporated in Australia bringing their profits to Australia and employing Australians to make games.
        Those private companies pulled out of Australia because our government is not supporting the industry, so they can produce the games cheaper overseas.

  • Geez mobile games make almost 75% the amount that ‘real’ games make, doesn’t seem like much incentive to make quality games when you can do Candy Crush 53 and make almost the same money!

    • It’s a funny predicament for major game publishers, actually.

      They’re only just now starting to speak publicly about realizing that mobile and AAA desktop/console (‘core gaming’) are different markets with different qualities, and that the traits that make fucktonnes of money hand over fist don’t necessarily translate well to the ‘core’ market.

      They’d pitch the whole thing in altogether and focus exclusively on mobile if it wasn’t such a risky prospect, and if it wasn’t leaving money on the table.

      Because, see, then indies would go and make games as creative expression… and if the AAA publishers aren’t there to control that market, then the indies would make shitloads of money from the ‘abandoned’ market. And we can’t have that! If there’s shitloads of money sloshing around, it absolutely shouldn’t be going into the hands of creatives… they wouldn’t know what to do with it. No, that money belongs in corporate strongholds for the benefit of investors.

      It’s for the best, really. Even if it’s slimmer margins than mobile, long-term investment without return, and unpredictable return. The alternative (creative indies making fucktonnes of money) is unthinkable.

    • It could be reasoning why publishers are starting to push pay to win mechanics on PC and console. It generates so much money for mobile.

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