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Australian games retail shrinks 23% year-on-year

Wednesday, 13th February 2013 02:39 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The NPD Group Australia has released a report on 2012 retail sales showing a contraction in overall sales, but industry figures believe spend may have been diverted to non-traditional channels.

According to the NPD Group, Australian retail recorded sales of $1.161 billion over the course of 2012, which is a 23% year-on-year decrease. This figure includes console hardware, games software and gaming peripherals.

In a statement, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association pointed out that the report fails to account for non-traditional sales streams – online retail, downloadable content, online games subscriptions, in-game micro-transactions and mobile games.

“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,” iGEA CEO Ron Curry said.

“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.”

Analyst firm Telsyte agreed, estimating Australians will spend more than $730 million on digital games subscriptions, virtual goods and mobile games in 2013. That’s a year-on-year increase of 18% on the firm’s estimation of 2012′s $620 million.

Curry also dobbed in the fading console cycle for a decline in physical sales, particularly as overall hardware units declined by 26.9% year-on-year. HD consoles as a category fell just 10.6%, though.

Although the NPD Group’s figures have not been released in full to the public, the iGEA provided some highlights, noting that end-of-year sales trended towards annualised franchises. The ten best-selling games of December 2012 accounted for 46% of all sales during the month, a 12% increase from 2011.

While overall software was down, PC software sales alone were up 3.4%, which the iGEA credited to Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2. Peripherals was the only category to show increase in both units and value this year. A 20% unit sales growth spike was credited to Skylanders Giants.

Sony provided some further details in its bold claim to have conquered the Australian market in 2012.

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  1. JB

    Seems the wonders of digital only stores and products are in for some bashing down there…

    http://delimiter.com.au/2013/02/11/please-explain-prices-parliament-subpoenas-apple-microsoft-adobe/

    “Many of the submissions from users focused on the fact that online stores such as Apple’s iTunes, Valve’s Steam, Microsoft’s Xbox Live, Sony’s PlayStation Network, Amazon’s Kindle store and Adobe’s software store charged Australians higher prices for the exact same software and content than residents of other countries, particularly countries such as the US. Companies such as Microsoft have previously justified the charges based on the increased cost of doing business in Australia.”

    #1 1 year ago