The data, released by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), reveals revenue comprised $1.065 billion in traditional retail sales, with an additional $1.893 billion in digital and mobile sales last year.
And, research commissioned by IGEA from analyst firm Telsyte shows overall digital sales were up 19% in 2016, with mobile games remaining the largest part of the digital pie, generating $988 million, primarily from downloads.
Downloads comprised of full game downloads and downloadable content (DLC) – the latter which IGEA says is increasingly popular (up 31%) as publishers offer consumers new ways to enjoy their game and extend its life.
"However, the Australian game industry experienced a 4% spike in total revenues in 2016, with consumers’ digital purchasing habits far outweighing the decline in traditional retail sales,” the data reveals.
“The Australian video game industry continues to grow, generating strong revenues just short of $3 billion last year,” says Ron Curry, chief executive of IGEA.
“In 2016 we continued to see a shift in how consumers engage with and consume our interactive entertainment products. Consumers have once again shown they are receptive to the latest technologies, with virtual and augmented reality games making the move into living rooms and onto mobile devices.”
According to Foad Fadaghi, managing director of Telsyte, Australian consumers are increasingly comfortable buying games and DLC via digital storefronts, and he says this trend is set to continue as more devices get connected via high-speed mobile and fixed networks.
Key highlights from Telsyte:
• Video and computer games generated $1.893 billion in digital sales in 2016, a 19% increase on 2015;
• While mobile is still the largest part of the digital pie (up 14%), the biggest growth is coming from downloads of full games and additional content (up 26%); and
• Downloadable content (DLC) is a popular way to extend the life of a game and experienced 31% growth on 2015 sales.
Key highlights from the NPD Group Australia:
• Video and computer games generated $1.065 billion in traditional retail sales in 2016, a 16% decrease on 2015 sales;
• The primary area for growth in retail sales was in accessories for current generation consoles PS4 and Xbox One, which was up 25% on 2015;
• Games classified MA15+ sold the highest number of units in 2016, reflecting the 33-year-old average age of Australian game players; and
• 55% of games sold received an unrestricted classification (G, PG or M).