The last year saw New Zealand’s interactive games industry soar by 18 per cent to a value of NZD$347m off the back of a strong increase in digital sales. While traditional retail purchases remained largely static, showing only a slight softening of 2 per cent to NZD$130m, this was more than offset by a massive 34 per cent jump in digital sales to NZD$217m, according to research released today by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA).
Market data revealed by independent market researcher, NPD Group Australia, showed an upward swing in console hardware and accessory sales, rising 24 and 2 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 New Zealand 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 NZD$54m.
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 NZD$31m, while mobile games and in-app purchases jumped by a staggering 43 per cent to NZD$132m.
“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’s New Zealand 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, Managing Director 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.
Further, Fadaghi predicted 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.
Key highlights from NPD Group Australia:
Key highlights from Telsyte: