Australia's game industry recorded $1.61 billion in retail sales in 2012, according to the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA). The data comes from NPD Group Australia, who also noted a 23 percent drop in retail sales compared to 2011. This data includes hardware, software, and accessories sold through traditional retail, but misses out on online retail, mobile sales, downloadable content, microtransactions, and subscriptions.
"As Australians consume video games across a broader range of mediums, it's becoming harder to get a true indication of the value of the industry via a single source. While there is a decline in traditional sales, the gaming industry as a whole remains buoyant as people shift towards a 'hybrid' model in their consumption of interactive entertainment," said iGEA CEO Ron Curry (pictured).
"Apart from the increasing move towards digital content, the figures released by NPD show a drop in physical sales due in part to the ageing gaming consoles, a trend we saw back in 2005 at the end of the last console cycle."
Numbers from Australian technology analyst firm Telsyte backs up Curry's assertions. Telsyte expects Australian consumers to spend over $730 million on mobile games, virtual items, and game subscriptions in 2013, up 18 percent from the $620 million total in 2012.
The Australian government recently pledged to invest $20 million in the local game development industry, which should improve the growth in the mobile development efforts.
"The funds represent an investment in an industry that has continued to develop in Australia, with local game developers continuing to show their capabilities around the world. The continued success of Firemonkeys, 2K Games Australia, Halfbrick and Kumobius are clear examples of the strength of the industry here in Australia. The investment by the Government will be used to further secure jobs, encourage innovation and creativity, and promotes investment in Australian talent," said Games Development Association of Australia CEO Antony Reed.