Last year was a record year for the US game industry, and it looks as if us Aussies have also followed suit. New figures from industry tracker GfK Australia show that the Australian game sector was worth A$1.3 billion ($1.1 billion) in 2007, a strong increase of more than 43 percent from the previous year.
Of that 2007 figure of A$1.3 billion, Aussies spent close to A$500 million on consoles, handhelds, and peripherals. More than A$800 million was spent on software, which translated to roughly 15.4 million individual pieces of software sold (with six million of that coming in the final three months of the year).
According to GfK figures, Aussies spent big in 2007 compared to 2006. In 2006, the total spent on gaming was only A$925 million, which in itself was an increase of only seven percent from 2005 figures. Of the 2006 figure, A$329 million was attributed to hardware and A$596 million to software sales.
Ron Curry, the new CEO of local industry body the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, attributed the strong sales growth to the release of next-generation consoles and the rising average age of the Aussie gamer to 28 years old.
"Last year, Australians welcomed the arrival of the PS3 and marked a full year since the release of the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Sales figures also indicate a resurging popularity in handheld consoles with 2.3 million units of software for the Nintendo DS system purchased last year compared to the 840,000 purchased in 2006," Curry said.