Report: Video games industry sales hit $1.5b, down by 12.8 per cent

Second consecutive year decline in revenue does not reflect the rising popularity of digital game downloads, according to the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association.

The Australian video games industry’s retail revenue declined by 12.8 per cent in 2011 but it still brought in about $1.5 billion, according to an NPD Group report.

Figures released by the market research group include retail sales from console hardware, games software and gaming peripherals.

This is the second drop in retail revenue for the video games industry. In 2010, sales revenue dropped by 16 per cent to $1.7 billion from 2009.

But the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) was quick to note the numbers do not account for revenues generated by online retail, downloadable content, online games subscriptions, in-game micro-transactions and mobile games.

Analyst firm, Telsyte, and professional services firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, both predict the digital games download sector to grow considerably in the future.

“Overall, we’re seeing a lot of evidence point towards a continuing healthy interactive games industry,” iGEA CEO, Ron Curry, said in a statement. “The incredible success of games such as Call of Duty 3: Modern Warfare 3, which became the fastest entertainment property to hit the $1 billion milestone globally, eclipsing the previous record set in 2009 by the film, Avatar, is only one example of this.”

Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation 3 experienced a surge in sales in last year with a 25 per cent jump in unit sales. The console beat competitors including Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii to become the top selling console of 2011.

But console hardware sales still dropped by around 15 per cent in 2011 to $443 million.

The best-selling game of last year was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 by Activision, which sold the most copies on the PS3 platform.

The NDP report also showed the 54 per cent of games sold in 2011 were rated G and PG. Shooter and action were the most popular genres, each nabbing 19 per cent of gaming revenue followed by family games with 16 per cent.

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