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The Australian games industry in numbers

We explore the growth of Australia's video games market, its expanding audience and thriving scene of developers

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The Australian games industry has shown solid growth in recent years, more than doubling in size over the past six years and showing strong revenue growth in 2022.

As part of our Australia Games Week, we've scoured through various reports published bytrade body IGEA (Interactive Games and Entertainment Association) to get a better idea of where the local market stands.

The Australian games market

  • Total market value: AU$4.21 billion ($2.67 billion, up 5% year-on-year)
  • Mobile revenue: AU$1.56 billion ($989.2 million, up 3%)
  • Digital revenue: AU$1.5 billion ($951.1 million, up 6%)
  • Traditional retail revenue: AU$1.15 billion ($729.2 million, up 7%)

While Newzoo tracked a slight decline for the global games market in 2022, the IGEA reported in June 2023 that the total market value for Australia actually grew by 5% to AU$4.21 billion ($2.67 billion).

The biggest contributor was unsurprisingly mobile at AU$1.56 billion ($989.2 million) which remained relatively stable compared to the year before. But the market also saw impressive digital revenues of AU$1.5 billion ($951.1 million). This included AU$499 million ($316.4 million) from full game purchases and AU$750 million ($475.6 million) from in-game transactions.

While the IGEA did not release a specific figure, it also reported revenues from subscriptions were up 55% last year.

Meanwhile, traditional retail enjoyed even more of a boost thanks to improved supply for all three consoles and a solid year of game releases. Full game software sales came in at AU$412 million ($261.2 million), while hardware topped this at AU$607 million ($384.9 million).

In the IGEA report, Sparkers' regional manager for Asia Pacific Aidan Sakiris wrote: "The Australian video game market thrived in 2022, driven by a diverse range of new software releases and improved hardware availability compared to the year prior. The retail software market experienced a healthy growth of 10% in value spend, but the significant takeaway was the increase in overall spending in 2022 compared to 2021, attributed to a substantial portion of software sales being driven by new releases rather than the more typical back catalogue titles."

"Australians love to play video games; they use them for entertainment, to have fun, to relax and connect with friends and family"

Ron Curry, IGEA

IGEA CEO Ron Curry added: "It's great to see consistent performance of sales across games channels. Australia's traditional games retailers continue to perform well... Bricks-and-mortar retailers continue to play an important role in game distribution and are a strong indicator of the industry's stability.

"Australians love to play video games; they use them for entertainment, to have fun, to relax and connect with friends and family. With such a strong retail and distribution base and a population that loves playing games, it is no surprise that sales have exceeded AU$4 billion. The added benefit is that the consumer demand for games in Australia and internationally allows Australia to build a substantial video game development industry."

Australia has consistently produced acclaimed hits in recent years, including Untitled Goose Game, Hollow Night, Unpacking, and Cult of the Lamb

The Australian games industry

  • Revenue generated by Australian developers (2021/22): AU$284 million ($180.1 million, up 26%)
  • Number of full-time employees (as of December 2022): 2,104 (up 59%)

In the IGEA's year-end report from December 2022, the trade body reported that the amount of revenue generated by Australia-developed games had leapt by 26%, reaching almost AU$285 million ($180.7 million).

Even more notably, the size of the industry has more than doubled in size in the last six years, according to the IGEA annual Australian Game Development Survey (AGDS). Since this study began in 2016, the Australian video game development scene has seen revenues rise by 148%.

"The growth in revenue, employment and confidence in the local game development sector is fantastic," said Curry. "Businesses are maturing, studios are performing well, development teams are expanding and international companies and investors are taking notice of Australia.

"State and federal governments are recognising the positive impact the local games industry has on the economy and are supporting the sector with tangible benefits such as the Federal Government's Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO)."

At the time of the report, 69% of Australian studios were planning to hire a combined 300+ staff in 2023, following the creation of over 770 new jobs in 2022.

Most of the nation's studios (48%, to be exact) are between six and nine years old, with a further 28% operating for ten or more years. The remaining quarter (27%) are less than five years old, and have contributed to the fact that over 80% of the developers based in Australia have shipped at least one game.

"We see smaller studios comfortably expand into medium-sized studios, and larger studios grow to over 100 employees," Curry added. "Australia finally has the capacity to build and nurture a thriving games industry and game development ecosystem; however, these expanding studios are facing the key hurdles of gaining access to mid to senior talent, which is essential for these expanding studios and dedicated financial support."

The Australian games audience

Finally, in August 2023, the IGEA released the results of its Australia Plays study in partnership with Bond University. This study of 1,219 Australian households, including 414 parents, explored the demographics of game players in the nation, showing that 81% of Australians play video games (up from 67% the year before).

According to the study, 9.4 million Australian households (94%) have at least one device that is used to play video games by at least one member of the home, up from 92%, with 76% being home to two or more.

Consoles were the most popular devices, with 81% of households reporting they used these to play games, followed by smartphones at 70%. 59% play on PC, 43% on tablet, while 6% use dedicated games handhelds, and just 5% have a VR headset.

"Australia finally has the capacity to build and nurture a thriving games industry and game development ecosystem"

Ron Curry, IGEA

48% of all Australian players are women, up from 46% percent the year before, with the IGEA and Bond University reporting that "more women and girls are playing [games] than ever before." In fact, over the age of 55, more women play video games than men.

84% of people between the ages of 18 and 64 play video games, representing 69% of all of Australia's players. The average age of players is 35 years with an average playtime of 90 minutes per day (81 minutes for women, 97 for men).

This isn't just the result of the pandemic boost either; the average Australian gamers has been playing video games for 11 years or more.

75% of respondents said they play games with others, with 91% of 414 parents saying they play with their children. 95% of parents also confirmed they implement some form of rules and restrictions in how their children play, such as time limits and whether they can play online.

TV remains the preferred entertainment medium across all Australian households, but video games were ranked in joint second with music, movies, social media and YouTube.

We'll be bringing more insight into the Australian game market throughout the week. Be sure to read our overview of the industry's growth and the challenges local games firms face.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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