The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) claims video games sales in Australia dropped by 16 per cent year on year to $1.7 billion in 2010.
IGEA CEO, Ron Curry, said the information came from GfK Retail and Technology Australia. Console games were down by 13 per cent to 16.9 million units while console sales dropped by 27 per cent to 1.6 million units.
But Curry was keen to point out the numbers only used traditional retail data and did not count online games, Apple apps, mobile phone games and other non-traditional outlets.
“It reflects a change in the way people are playing games more than a decline in the industry,” he said. “People are now downloading from social media, to smart phones playing on their iPads and all that dilutes the way the money is being spent.
“Online gaming is certainly a contributing factor with people playing and purchasing games on the Internet. We don’t measure that or subscription-based games.”
While Curry said traditional brick and mortar games retailers would continue to do well in the short to mid term, he was unsure how it would fare in the long term as shoppers use online markets to get their content.
He was positive about the market and said he expected games developers to grow and move into Australia to make and sell their software.
“Australia showed some really positive growth against the rest of the world, which went backwards,” he said. “I still expect quite a buoyant year ahead. It’s just that we need to start measuring it a bit differently.
“We think it’s significantly bigger than what we’re reporting.”