Kiwis Continue to Embrace Video Games Despite Softening of Sales in 2019


Auckland, New Zealand – 17 June 2020 – Video game sales in New Zealand have experienced a marginal decline in value for the first time since 2012, according to data released today by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) – although the sector is confident the emergence of new platforms, games and technologies will propel its expansion in 2020 and beyond.

Kiwi consumers have embraced subscription services, which in many cases have led to a change in purchase patterns for some games. This trend is reflected in the 16% boom in revenue for this category. Despite this strong result, the market softened by 9% across the board.

The reduction in sales in New Zealand is consistent with Australia and the rest of the globe following very strong performance of video game sales in 2018. In light of the overall growth of the NZ market of 11% between 2017 and 2019, IGEA’s members are signalling the industry will rebound and drive forward in 2020 with major new hardware and games releases due this year – particularly in light of the increase in game play, as families and friends strive to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“2018 was certainly a hard act to follow, but despite the softening of video game sales in 2019, New Zealanders continue to embrace games and the different models available to purchase and consume them. More than ever, the first half 2020 has shown the power of games to connect, entertain and educate,” said Ron Curry, CEO, IGEA.

“The release of new platforms and blockbuster games in 2020 should see a return to growth, resulting in games maintaining their position as the leading form of entertainment, both locally and abroad.”

Playstation 4 and Xbox One, which were both in the final year of their console cycle still delivered solid results and remain popular among NZ consumers, while Nintendo Switch hardware and software also performed strongly. Demand for the next generation consoles to be released in 2020 is expected to be very strong.

“The New Zealand video games market was not immune to the falls in Fortnite gameplay that occurred worldwide in 2019, however all signs indicate a revival in 2020 with a plethora of new games and systems,” said Foad Fadaghi, Managing Director, Telsyte. “Subscription based services continued to experience strong growth as Kiwis show greater interest in digital games and services.”

An accompanying sales data infographic can be downloaded 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. In October 2019 Games Sales Data (GSD) commenced provision of physical retail data along with full game digital downloads across selected networks and publishers.

With the growth of digital gaming, the NPD and GSD data has been augmented with research from Telsyte to provide a complete picture of the state of the industry.

About IGEA

IGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Association) is the peak industry association representing the voice of New Zealand and Australian companies in the computer and video games industry.  IGEA supports the business and public policy interests of the games industry, through advocacy, research and education programs. For more information, please visit

Media spokespeople available

  • For interviews with Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, please contact Catherine Arnott, Espresso Communications on +61 2 8016 2200 or
  • For interviews with Foad Fadaghi, Managing Director Telsyte, please contact him on +61 2 9235 5851



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