New Zealanders’ appetite for video games continues to skyrocket


Consumer spending breaks the half billion dollar mark


Auckland, New Zealand, 23 May 2019 – New Zealanders’ love of playing video games shows no sign of slowing down, as highlighted in data released today by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA). The New Zealand video and computer games industry generated $548 million in the 2018 calendar year, posting a growth of 21 per cent, with strong performances from both the traditional retail and digital sectors.

Overall, sales in the physical retail sector hit the $143.1 million mark, a 21 per cent jump on the previous year, while overall digital sales generated $405 million.


Key highlights include;

  • Physical retail sales reached $143.1 million, and overall digital sales hit $405 million
  • Within physical retail sales, significant growth has come from the upswing in the sale of console accessories, up 45 per cent to $27.7 million in 2018
  • Hardware sales still continue to outstrip software sales, with sales of the former hitting $59.3 million, an increase of 37 per cent from the previous year
  • Within digital sales, mobile is still the dominant category, generating $194 million, up 11 per cent

“Once again the data shows New Zealanders’ clear love of playing video games,” said Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA. “The fact that the industry has rocketed through the half billion dollar mark is evidence of an industry in great shape. New Zealanders’ are clearly engaged in playing games both physically and digitally, and they continue to find ways to upgrade and extend the life of their games and hardware, evidenced by the clear growth in console accessories sales.

“In the coming months we will be releasing our biennial Digital New Zealand 2020 report, The Power of Games, which will shed light on who plays games and why they play them, as well as offering insights into the use of games beyond pure entertainment.”

According to market research from Telsyte, overall sales in digital were again strong in 2018, with sales breaking the $400 million mark, reaching $405 million. The biggest increase was experienced by sales in mobile games, which generated $194 million in revenue.

According to Foad Fadaghi, Telsyte Managing Director, “Double digit growth in the digital and mobile games segments shows New Zealanders continue to have an unabated appetite for downloading their favourite titles to their devices, both in the living room and on the go.”

Market data from The NPD Group shows that overall digital sales were augmented by sales in the traditional physical retail sector, with overall physical sales reaching $143.1 million. This growth was driven primarily by the increase in console hardware and console accessories sales, with console software also proving popular.

“Sales of physical video games continue to look strong in New Zealand. We saw a number of physical software titles break fastest-selling records, but the key take away from New Zealand’s performance in 2018 was how prominent both Hardware and Accessories performed year on year. In 2018, we saw all 3 major gaming platforms are in double-digit growth in hardware, which is outstanding at this point in the generation” said Aidan Sakiris of The NPD Group. “This goes to show how strong the New Zealand video game market is, with double digit increased spend across the majority of video games categories in 2018 year on year”.

You can download the accompanying infographic here.


About the research

Since 2009, IGEA has provided a review of the state of New Zealand’s video games industry using commissioned research from The NPD Group. With the growth of digital gaming, the NPD data has been augmented with research from Telsyte to provide a complete picture on the state of the industry.


About IGEA

IGEA is the industry association representing the business and public policy interests of New Zealand and Australian companies in the computer and video games industry. IGEA’s members publish, develop, market and/or distribute interactive games and entertainment content and related hardware including mobile and handheld games. For more information, please visit


Media spokespeople available

  • For interviews with Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, please contact Rose Keating, Espresso Communications on +61 2 8016 2200 or
  • For interviews with Foad Fadaghi, Managing Director Telsyte, please contact him on +61 414 992 466.


IGEA Proudly Owns and Runs

IGEA Policies

Send this to a friend
Hi, I thought this article might interest you: New Zealanders’ appetite for video games continues to skyrocket