By Alan Bell
New Zealand's Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) has released its report on the country's videogame industry sales information for 2012 today, confirming that the local market followed international trends by contracting in comparison to the previous year.
Total sales, as recorded by the NPD Group (a market information and advisory company) were NZ$149 million for the calendar year - down 18 percent on 2011. The numbers for the Australian market were down 23 percent.
The numbers include console hardware, games, and gaming peripherals, but they don't cover digital sales of software - an area of the market that is rapidly expanding.
“As New Zealanders play videogames across a broader range of mediums, it’s becoming difficult to get a true indication of the value of the industry via a single source,” says iGEA's Mark Goodacre.
“While there is a decline in traditional sales, the gaming industry as a whole remains buoyant, as people shift towards a ‘hybrid’ model in their consumption of interactive entertainment. For example, consumers are increasingly walking into retail stores to buy physical copies of a game, purchasing extras online and then buying a slimmed down version to play on their mobile phone.
“Apart from the increasing move towards digital content, the figures released by NPD show a drop in physical sales due in part to the ageing gaming consoles, a trend we saw back in 2005 at the end of the last console cycle.”
Key highlights from the NPD's analysis:
- Total unit sales had a smaller contraction than actual dollar sales, with unit sales down 7.0 percent from 2011
- The value of total software sales were down 14.5 percent compared to 2011. Software sales on the HD consoles fell by 8.6 percent in terms of value, and increased by 3.4 percent in terms of units.
- Hardware followed a similar trend to software. While overall hardware units declined by 13.8 percent, high definition consoles saw a decline of 2.2 percent.
- There was increased spending on yearly franchises like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and FIFA during December 2012, compared to December 2011.
Sony were upbeat about today's news, claiming a 47 percent value share and 44 percent share of unit sales in the local market for the PlayStation Brand.
Additionally, 31 percent of software sold at retail this year was for the PlayStation 3, making it the number one platform by that measure, and the PS3 also managed to take the top hardware spot with 34 percent of unit sales.
“PlayStation 3 continues to go from strength to strength in New Zealand, because it remains a great value, high definition entertainment solution for the family that offers exceptional games, movies, TV and music experiences,” says Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand sales and marketing director David Hine.
“We are also experiencing growth in online sales driven by an increased range of digital content and subscription products such as the PlayStation Plus program.”
Nintendo and Microsoft have not yet made any statements regarding today's iGEA announcement.