Australians spent more than $3 billion on video game software and hardware in 2017, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) announced today. Sales from physical retailers amounted to $1.176 billion, while digital sales hit $2.054 billion. Those are increases of 11 percent and 9 percent respectively. In all, that comes to $3.23 billion for the year, which represents an increase of nine percent.
For home consoles specifically, sales jumped by 36 percent during the year. The Nintendo Switch had a “strong debut” following its launch in March, the IGEA said, while Nintendo’s SNES and NES systems also “performed well.” On the games side, and in a clear sign of the times, full-game digital sales jumped 17 percent compared to 2016’s figures. Additionally, “digital extras,” which we imagine to be things like DLC packs and microtransactions, rose by 12 percent compared to last year.
According to research company Telsyte, subscription revenue was also a bright spot, rising 14 percent, thanks in part to growth in PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live subscriptions. For digital games specifically, mobile games dominated of course, bringing in more than $1 billion in revenue in Australia during the year.
“Despite the huge amount of entertainment options available to Australians, the appetite for games shows no signs of waning, evidenced by growth across the entire industry,” IGEA CEO Ron Curry said in a statement. “In 2017, we saw gamers embrace new and updated consoles. At the same time, there was lots of love shown and nostalgia for old favourites – both hardware and games. Australians enjoy buying products in-store, where they can seek out hands-on experiences and advice from retail staff, and similarly they are very comfortable downloading full games and additional content.”
By comparison, US video game industry revenue came out to $36 billion in 2017. Like Australia, the US saw year-over-year increases in revenue from game and hardware sales. Australia’s population is around 24 million, as compared to more than 320 million in the US.