Australia's Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) has lifted the lid on how the videogame industry performed Down Under in 2011, and depending on your spin, it's both good and bad news. While things look sufficiently buoyant, with a total of $1.5 billion in total revenue, it's actually down 12.8 percent on that earned in 2010.
Data from independent market research group NPD Group Australia indicates that the $1.5 billion figure includes revenue generated from "console hardware, games software and gaming peripherals sold through retail". However, this means that it excludes "online retail, downloadable content, online games subscriptions, in-game transactions and mobile games."
Given the multitude of ways in which Australian consumers can obtain games outside of the bricks-and-mortar model - Steam, Games on Demand, online postal orders to overseas stores - it's perhaps no surprise that the figure has contracted. Throw Australia's infamous RRPs into the mix, and a nation of gamers looking for alternate purchase means is practically inevitable. And it's predicted to grow: a Telsyte analyst sees 2012 as a year where Australians will spend over $450 million on games online, and an apparent shift by publishers towards this space, as Sony is doing with its PS Vita, seems positioned to make it a reality.
Where did your game dollars go in 2011? Should future market research include digital revenue? Let us know in the comments!