Digital drives games sales

xbox, game, console, video game, controllerThe last has year seen New Zealand’s interactive games industry soar by 18 per cent to $347 million off the back of a strong increase in digital sales, according to the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA).

While traditional retail purchases remained largely static, showing only a slight softening of two per cent to $130 million, this was more than offset by a 34 per cent jump in digital sales to $217 million.

Market data revealed by independent market researcher, NPD Group Australia, showed an upward swing in console hardware and accessory sales, rising 24 and two per cent respectively following the 2014 launch of the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One.

New consoles have shown the highest sales within the first 12 months of launch of any console hardware entering the NZ market.

Sales of console software sold through traditional retail outlets slipped 9.3 per cent in relation to the previous year, while digital downloads climbed by 13 per cent to $54 million.

The shift to mobile and subscription-based services showed the largest increase, continuing the trend established in previous years. According to research conducted by technology analyst firm, Telsyte, subscription-based services climbed by 41 per cent to $31 million, while mobile games and in app purchases jumped by 43 per cent to $132 million.

“New major console releases and an ongoing shift towards digital sales clearly show New Zealanders continue to be avid consumers of games across a wide variety of platforms,” said Mark Goodacre, IGEA NZ director.

“The strong overall growth of the industry highlights the fact that New Zealanders are exploring a range of ways to purchase video games and hardware, from traditional bricks and mortar stores through to online retailers.

“New Zealanders are also embracing the new and complimentary ways to play games on mobile and tablet devices.”

Foad Fadaghi, MD at Telsyte, pointed towards mobile gaming as driving the industry, followed by digital and subscriptions.

“The New Zealand interactive games market continues to driven by the strong uptake of tablet and smartphone gaming, as well as a burgeoning digital download market, which is set to grow substantially to 2019,” he said.

Fadaghi predicts that better internet connectivity will further drive a shift towards digital delivery of interactive content and provide opportunities for further gaming innovation.

“Telsyte expects the arrival of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) will greatly enhance the digital download market and will usher in a new era of gaming for many New Zealanders, including virtual reality and cloud game services,” he said.


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