The NPD Group Australia has revealed a 12.8% year-on-year decrease in traditional retail in 2011, but local industry expects digital revenue to climb.
Highlights from the NPD’s 2011 figures were released by the IGEA, and show bricks and mortar retail channels delivering $1.5 billion, down from 2010′s efforts.
On a more positive note, software sales were up 5% in units shifted and 13% in value over the holiday sales fortnight when compared to the same period in 2010.
The NPD’s figures fail to account for online retail, downloadable content, online games subscriptions, in-game micro-transactions and mobile games, which the IGEA flags as a major oversight. A report from analyst firm Telsyte estimates Australian subscriptions and in-game purchases alone will reach $450 million during 2012.
“Online gaming subscriptions and in-game virtual goods sales are growing strongly in Australia, and will account for around 20% of the overall digital goods and online subscriptions market (which consists of 26 categories such as Internet video, Internet music and digital news subscriptions) in 2012,” Telsyte’s Sam Yip said.
The IGEA highlighted a recent PriceWaterHouseCooper forecast that the Australian games industry would be worth $2.5 billion in 2015, with non-traditional sales accounting for half this figure,and an IDC estimate that demand for handheld consoles and games will rise by 20% over 2012.
“Global consumer confidence in the digital space is encouraging exceptional growth in the Australian game development industry,” Games Development Association of Australia CEO Anthony Reed said.
“In 2011, Australian made games featured highly across multiple digital platforms. For example, Brisbane’s Halfbrick Studios recorded over 120 million downloads of their smash-hit, Fruit Ninja, and 11million for the recently released, Jetpack Joyride, and Melbourne-based Iron Monkey Studios won Apple’s coveted ‘Gameof the Year’ award with Dead Space. Into 2012 we will see many more innovative and creative properties made by Australian studios releasing to a global audience.”