Aussie games sector set for 2009 growth

Local industry body tips 2009 Australian games revenue to outstrip previous year.


While 2009 has proven to be a tough year for the Australian economy, the video games industry has managed to minimise its impact and even set itself up to outgrow its 2008 value of A$1.96 billion.

Rhythm games like Guitar Hero have greatly contributed to Australia's game sales in 2009.
Rhythm games like Guitar Hero have greatly contributed to Australia's game sales in 2009.

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) has revealed that with the Christmas rush fast approaching, 2009 is set to be the Aussie game industry's biggest year yet. September proved to be a particularly good month, seeing an 8.3 per cent rise over September 2008.

Console hardware sales have risen 10 per cent so far this year to A$456 million, while game sales have risen 5 per cent to a total of A$716 million. Those figures were collected at the end of Q3 2009.

Last year saw the rise of the family games genre in Australia, which includes titles like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Buzz, and Mario Party, and this year it seems to have made an even bigger impact, with family games now accounting for 32 per cent of all games sold throughout the year. The closest genre to that is action, with a 13.2 market share.

iGEA CEO Ron Curry told GameSpot AU that he believed there were a couple of reasons the Australian games industry had avoided the global financial crisis. "The first was, we've seen a lot of cocooning happening. People who have been spooked by the GFC and have stayed home and looked for ways to spend their money and get some longevity out of it. Secondly, from an economic standpoint, Australia wasn't hit as hard. So then our natural growth continued to happen."

Interestingly, the figures put out by the iGEA today show that out of all the games sold throughout the year, 67 per cent of those fell under the G or PG classification. Despite this, Curry said an R18+ classification was still needed in Australia. "One per cent of all games are refused classification. [Having an] R18+ rating is a way of future proofing the industry, future proofing it for adult aged content. At the end of the day, 30 per cent of all games fall into an M, MA 15+, or R 18+, rating, which is still a fair amount."

While these figures are a cumulative figure for all games from the start of 2009 through to Q3 2009, overseas game markets haven't fared so well. This morning it was reported that the US, UK, and Japan (the world's three largest gaming markets) had suffered a 6 per cent dip in sales throughout Q3 2009.

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Avatar image for Blade8Aus

@shadow_571 only if your stupid enough to buy games when theyre at rrp/not on special

Avatar image for chakkerz

EB's standard prices are too high. But JB and others also do dodgy things. DS games seem to occasionally be the European or US version, even when there is a region specific Australian one. I can only assume the same is true for other games. (Though not all of the time, while EB is consistently exe). EB does price match very well, i just go in and tell them to match JB or Game's price and they do... but you had to do your homework :)

Avatar image for shadow_571-2254112256380627405

@Blade8Aus EB is a rip, I buy my games at JB Hifi

Avatar image for Blade8Aus

@zaprct actually i find EB has some excellent sales but i never buy games at full price (as you are right buying new games they are very expensive) i hate game though

Avatar image for zaprct

Maybe with Game it's different from store to store, I'm just basing my opinion on the couple I've been to. With EB they're consistantly expensive so I tend to avoid. They will occassionally have a really cheap second hand 360 game that is a few years old for like $15 or $20 which is the only reason I check the store out if I go past.

Avatar image for StingrayA

Game isn't that bad in comparison to EB Games. I agree JB is usually the cheapest, but i still go to game, because they tend to have more stock and more helpful staff than at JB.

Avatar image for zaprct

@Ivory-Dynamite I tend to agree, in Australia consoles and games are extremely expensive in comparison to the US, however a lot of the time you really just need to look in the right places. First step, don't buy from Game or EB, they both charge RRP nearly all of the time, even their used games are barely discounted. I saw a used COD4:MW in Game the other day for $89.95! Ridiculous. JB HiFi are usually the best bet, they generally have the cheapest prices for pretty much every form of entertainment. If you don't live near one just ask EB to price-match JB's price for a game.

Avatar image for Ivory-Dynamite

Yes the achieved this by over charging the Australian public ripping us of with over priced games have they ever though of making the prices come down to what they are actually worth.If they did don't they think sales will go through the roof more games will be sold and no 18+ rating Australian gaming industry is organised crime and they complain about piracy.

Avatar image for HighRisk12345

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for selbie

No R18 rating, no market. While sales might be increasing, the typical age of gamers is also increasing so Australia should take advantage of that and be allowed to create games for a more mature audience...not just for kids

Avatar image for benboz

Man, I only brought like Action games and shooters or racing games this year. Not family games! Not my type of games anyway!

Avatar image for St_muscat

32% of games sold in Australia this year were family games? Damn didn't realize things down here were that bad :P.

Avatar image for Nintendo_Man

We have the most resilient economy in the world and our sales continue to go up. Industry sales have gone up dramatically, only a couple of years we saw it hit $1 Billion.