New Zealand Video Game Consumer Sales Show Strength In Numbers
Kiwis come to play both physically and digitally
8 June, 2023 – New Zealanders love to play games as shown by new consumer sales data released today by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA). Trends are up in almost all categories as over $608 million was spent on video games in 2022, up 12% from 2021. While the digital space saw significant growth, traditional bricks and mortar retail has not lost ground in the New Zealand market.
Traditional retail proved its value, as sales are up 20% on the previous year with traditional retail remaining the backbone of the industry in an ever growing age of online and digital games.
“The experience of heading to a physical outlet to purchase games, games hardware or peripherals remains an important and invaluable part of the purchasing process to many consumers,” said Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA. “New Zealanders love playing games, they help connect us with friends and family, but most importantly games are a source of joy and entertainment.”
“In 2022, the New Zealand video game market witnessed remarkable revenue growth across all GSD tracked categories, reflecting an increased spend on higher-priced items. Retail software experienced a staggering growth of +33% for 2022 in value spending when compared to 2021, predominantly fuelled by the sales of new retail software releases at full price. Hardware also experienced impressive performance from PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series hardware in comparison to the previous year with increased stock availability, but also continual success from Nintendo Switch year-on-year in New Zealand,” said Aidan Sakiris, the Asia Pacific Regional Manager at GSD Integration.
“Despite the challenges posed by retail store closures in 2021 due to COVID, numbers for 2022 in New Zealand show a notable increase in spending on full-game new software at retail stores, coupled with a significant growth in spend on hardware with increased availability. God of War Ragnarok emerged as the best-selling title in New Zealand, followed by Pokemon Legends: Arceus and FIFA 23, all of which were new releases. The top 10 retail titles in 2022 were exclusively comprised of new releases, a rare occurrence, highlighting their popularity and impact to 2022 new software spending habits across New Zealand,” Aidan continued.
“In terms of hardware sales, value generated from the New Zealand hardware market saw a +15% growth compared to 2021. PlayStation 5 (+17%) and Xbox Series (+15%) saw increased unit sales compared to 2021, resulting in higher overall value generated from these platforms in 2022,” said Aidan.
Digital trends swayed, yet increased as Kiwis spent over $73 million on full game digital titles, a slight decrease from 2021. The data shows that many New Zealanders moved instead to digital game subscriptions, with sales doubling from $19 million to over $38 million in 2022. Despite this shift, total digital sales still rose by over $13 million. The shift could point toward the ever expanding services the video game industry provides, with more subscription services appearing on console, PC and mobile.
Additionally, mobile gaming saw phenomenal growth with a massive increase of 14%, Kiwi’s spent $28 million more on their handheld devices compared to 2021.
Tom Wijman, Lead Analyst Games Newzoo expressed “New Zealand’s players buckled the global trend on mobile spending and in the full game digital category. Newzoo estimates that global spending on mobile went down year on year, but that was not so in New Zealand. Similarly, despite the lighter release schedule negatively impacting global spending in the digital category, the category still grew slightly in New Zealand.”
Later this year IGEA will launch its latest consumer research as to who plays games in NZ, why they play and how they play. Previous reports can be found here.
Media spokespeople available:
- Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA
- Aidan Sakiris, Asia Pacific Regional Manager of Sparkers
- Tom Wijman, Lead Analyst Games, Newzoo
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
IGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Association) is the peak industry association representing the voice of Australian and New Zealand companies in the computer and video games industry. IGEA supports the games industry’s business and public policy interests through advocacy, research and education programs. For more information, please visit www.igea.net
Notes about the Newzoo research
The impact of changes in the NZD-to-USD exchange rate is also worth pointing out. Newzoo estimates the games market size in US$ value, which means we convert local spending into US$. Newzoo does this by taking the US$ exchange rate at the end of each quarter. The value of the US$ compared to other currencies rose rapidly during 2022, which has two consequences: the US$ value of companies that earn the lion’s share of their revenues in non-U.S. markets is lower than it would have been using the constant currency approach as is the revenue recognized by U.S.-based companies for revenues earned in regions outside the U.S.
NZD amounts quoted in this press release and infographic were derived from the average of the NZD-to-USD exchange rate for 2022.