Auckland, New Zealand – 13th February 2013 – New Zealand’s interactive entertainment industry has recorded $149 million of traditional retail store sales in 2012. Despite a contraction of 18 per cent compared to computer and video game sales in 2011, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) remains confident in the industry’s growth, as the gaming community supplements their traditional boxed games with mobile and online content.
The latest data from independent market research group NPD Group, which includes all revenue generated from console hardware, games software and gaming peripherals sold through retail stores, reveals an 18 per cent contraction from the corresponding 2011 period. Yet, as the NPD data excludes sales from online retail, downloadable content, online games subscriptions, in-game micro-transactions and mobile games, iGEA’s New Zealand Director Mark Goodacre said that the data fails to account for the growing popularity in the mobile and digital space.
“As New Zealanders play video games across a broader range of mediums, it’s becoming difficult to get a true indication of the value of the industry via a single source. 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. For example, consumers are increasingly walking into retail stores to buy physical copies of a game, purchasing extras online and then buying a slimmed down version to play on their mobile phone”.
“Apart from the increasing move towards digital content, the figures released by NPD show a drop in physical sales due in part to the ageing gaming consoles, a trend we saw back in 2005 at the end of the last console cycle,” added Goodacre.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ New Zealand Entertainment and Media Outlook 2012 – 2016 predicts that the local interactive games sector will experience an annual compound growth rate of 6.3 per cent for the coming four years. Furthermore, the interactive games sector is expected to demonstrate the biggest growth in consumer spending with the exception of the Internet, outstripping the forecasted growth of Music, Film and Subscription Television.
A sector capitalising on the growth of digital games is the New Zealand game development community with a survey conducted by the New Zealand Game Developers Association (NZGDA) revealing that there are were over 380 full-time game developers based in New Zealand in 2012. Furthermore, 73 commercial games were released by New Zealand game studios between 2011 and 2012.
NZGDA’s Chairperson Stephen Knightly said, “Digital and smartphone gaming is a burgeoning industry, and there is now a strong ecosystem of talented local developers. Recent hit New Zealand video games like Path of Exile, The Blockheads and Bloons Tower Defence 5, each sold millions of copies digitally. For exporters like us, we go direct to our players via the Internet.”
New Zealand Director Mark Goodacre of iGEA, added, “Bricks and mortar retailing is facing challenges in all sectors around the world, and our local interactive gaming industry is not immune to these changes. That said there remains a big place in the market for physical outlets as they are a terrific place for consumers to get advice, feel and play with the latest games, hardware and peripherals in one
Key highlights from NPD Group:
- Total unit sales had a much smaller contraction than actual dollar sales, with unit sales down 7.0 per cent from 2011.
- The value of total software sales were down 14.5 per compared to 2011. However, software sales on the HD consoles fell only 8.6 per cent in terms of value, and increased by 3.4 per cent in terms of units.
- Hardware followed a similar trend to software. While overall hardware units declined by 13.8 per cent , high definition consoles saw a much slower decline of just 2.2 per cent.
- Over the Christmas period, consumers were looking for value deals. Consoles bundled with software or accessories grew by over 30 per cent in value over the corresponding period last year.
- Gaming headsets showed another year of growth in 2012. The Audio genre saw over 50 per cent increases in units and value over the previous year, due to strong sales of the Turtle Beach range.
- There was increased spending on yearly franchises like Call of Duty, Assasins Creed and FIFA during December 2012, compared to December 2011.
About the iGEA
The iGEA is an industry association representing the business and public policy interests of New Zealand and Australian companies in the computer and video game industry. iGEA’s members publish, market and/or distribute interactive games and entertainment content and related hardware including mobile and handheld games.
For more information, please visit www.igea.net.
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