Figures released today by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) show that the Australian games industry registered a 16 percent decline in sales from 2009 to 2010, recording to a total revenue of approximately A$1.7 billion.
The data--compiled by independent market research group GfK Retail and Technology Australia--shows that console game sales were also down by 13 percent, with 16.9 million units sold in 2010 compared to 19.3 million units sold in 2009. Hardware (console) sales also declined by 27 percent, with 1.6 million units sold in 2010 compared to 2.2 million units sold in 2009. Not all sales were in decline, however; PC game sales increased by 7 percent from last year, with 3.1 million units sold in 2010 compared to 3 million in 2009.
The research data included hardware, gaming peripherals, and boxed software sales registered through retail outlets, but it did not include revenue from online retail sales, downloadable content, online games subscriptions, or mobile games.
Ron Curry, CEO of the iGEA, remained adamant that the Aussie industry fared better than overseas gaming markets in 2010.
"Compared to the most other international territories, our local interactive entertainment market has done considerably well to weather the global economic crisis, which affected a broad range of entertainment industries and what we are seeing now is a leveling or righting of the market," Curry said in a press statement.
Despite the dip in sales, the iGEA says sales are forecasted to bounce back to approximately A$2.5 billion by 2014, based on figures from the PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook report for the period 2010-2014. The report also forecasts that online and mobile games will grow significantly, with online games reaching A$534 million by 2014 and mobile games reaching A$496 million.
"As the industry continues to evolve and interactive entertainment is delivered through increasingly diverse channels, it becomes more difficult to aggregate sales data through a single source," Curry said. "Anecdotally, sales of interactive entertainment products are continuing their healthy growth; however, the ways these products are being consumed and engaged with is expanding and changing dramatically, as is the industry itself. Digital downloads, online subscriptions, micro and mobile games, and alike are expanding consumer spend into areas that we are unable to measure in the traditional manner."
The GfK data also reveals that family games were the best-selling game genre in Australia in 2010 (for the third year running), composing 21 percent of the number of console game units sold, followed closely by action titles at 20 percent.