Australian game industry grows 47% in 2008

UPDATE: Aussie game sector now worth A$1.96 billion in sales; family games (including rhythm and puzzle genres) the dominant genre for local gamers.


Although the last half of 2008 will be remembered as the beginning of a time of economic hardship, 2008 on the whole proved to be a massive year for the Australian games industry. Games and hardware sales expanded 47 percent from the previous year, generating A$1.96 billion in sales over the course of 12 months, according to independent data analysts GfK Australia.

The "family games" genre experienced the most growth in 2008, expanding a whopping 137 percent, which made family games the number-one selling genre.

Breaking down the figures even further, the hardware-accessories category grew by more than 68 percent. Not too far behind was software (increasing 57 percent) and console sales (which grew 43 percent).

The last few years has seen exponential growth for games in Australia, with Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia CEO Ron Curry saying: "Sales figures for the past two years actually show that the industry has grown over 112 percent since 2006. The industry has really witnessed phenomenal growth, which has largely been driven by people playing games together."

Interestingly, last year also saw a growth in games with G and PG ratings, which saw 58 and 33 percent expansions, respectively.

These figures come one day shy of a year after the IEAA released its figures for 2007, which showed that the local industry had generated A$1.3 billion worth of sales, a 43 percent expansion over 2006.

[UPDATE] Curry said that the family-games genre "includes things like card games, music and dance games, party games, puzzle, quiz, board games, virtual pets. So we put in things like SingStar, Buzz, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Mario Party, and Eye Toy [into the figures]."

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Avatar image for Space-Q

not surpisingly this happens the same year australia overtakes america as the fattest nation.

Avatar image for peachball

It won't be long before the family's move on from this fad and go back to yo yo's and pogo sticks.

Avatar image for flyingteddy

i think Nintendo could have sold a stand-alone device that plays Wii sports with 4 wireless remotes and a standalone device that only plays brain training.

Avatar image for Jim_bo_bo

@ahpuck No, that's not stupid, I think you're onto something brilliant...

Avatar image for ahpuck

we need a good FPS set in the australian outback. with an evil koala as the last boss. . nvm. . just being stupid. but, good to hear games are selling at a brisk pace in the land down under.

Avatar image for FelixTheGreat15

I think the only reason "family" games are so popular there is because all of the violent ones are getting banned...

Avatar image for lamprey263

that's good, maybe if game sales in Australia keep growing more industry groups will lobby the Australian government to promote more gamer friendly legislation

Avatar image for mvlbr

It's gone up cuz now even the kangaroos can afford video games ;)

Avatar image for AlphaCommando

Can't be all due to the Wii. I know it's a major contributor, but Buzz and Singstar are PlayStation exclusive.

Avatar image for gameking5000

It was about time the family games sold some games.

Avatar image for trenno2529

great. more money in the industry means more games.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a8f90fbb3d09

well 137% may sound great but think about it if i make 10 dollars one year because theres 5 games out there in the family genre, then the next year theres 100 games and i make 1370 dollars, then wow look at the growth! I guess it's good but games are leaning to far to casuals in my opinion.

Avatar image for Nintendo_Man

We are rapidly gaining on the bigger European countries and Canada. Per capita we must be the 2nd biggest (behind Japan) in sales.

Avatar image for TheArcade

Isn't the largest market currently the U.S. market? I know that Japan used to be the largest but they allowed themselves to fall behind by not purchasing as many games as the previous years. Good news for Aussie.

Avatar image for flippin_flames

Good news

Avatar image for rockatanski

I wonder if this will promote more family friendly games in the future rather than awesome kick ass horror action and fantasy sci-fi games?

Avatar image for jrabbit99

good news in this troubled economy

Avatar image for bleach1st

good to see the business growing... and I'm happy to see more G/PG games out there, I know the majority of them will be lame family games (that experienced growth...?) but I'm sick of all games requiring massive amounts of blood/guns to get produced :|

Avatar image for DarkDamo

It's unfortunate that over the past 12 months, some good companies have bit the dust. Auran, Pandemic Brisbane (different circumstances though) and now I hear that Red Ant might go as well, not to mention that's only the 'big' names down here that have gone. Who knows about the smaller studios.

Avatar image for archibald_83

It's excellent to see the Australian Games Industry doing well. Hopefully it means we will see more quality Aussie games.