Independent market research group GfK Retail and Technology Australia has reported that New Zealand's interactive games and entertainment industry recorded sales of $158 million for the 2010 calendar year. This represents a 7% decline from the figure recorded in the previous year.
The figure includes sales from hardware, peripherals and boxed software sold at retail. In turn, it doesn't take digital distribution, downloadable content, online game subscriptions and mobile games into consideration.
Peripherals, however, constituted a growth area, with an 11% increase in sales compared to the previous year. Console sales, on the other hand, experienced a 7% decline, while console-game sales dipped by 10%.
Despite the overall decline, New Zealand's industry fared better than Australia's, which experienced a decline of 16% when compared to 2009, with recorded sales of $1.7 billion.
"Unlike other international markets, which have taken a large hit due to the global economic crisis, New Zealand's video and computer games market remains buoyant," said Mark Goodacre, director of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Industry (iGEA) in New Zealand. "Video and computer game technology continues to advance in leaps and bounds, and 88.5% of New Zealand households are playing with games. The slowdown we're seeing in sales is caused by global market conditions, which have caught up to the industry."
According to iGEA and GfK, 'Action Games' represented the biggest growth area in terms of software, replacing 'Family Games' as the biggest-selling category in 2010 and comprising some 19% of the total number of console games sold. 'Family Games' and 'Shooter Games' tied for second, comprising 16% of console game sales.
UPDATE - 1.11pm: A couple of readers have brought to our attention that apparently GfK's figures don't include sales from retails chains EB Games and The Warehouse. We've attempted to contact the appropriate PR contacts and will clarify the story if this is the case.
UPDATE - 11.44am, Thursday, February 10th: PR representatives for GfK Retail and Technology have responded to Game Console's inquiry regarding the inclusion of sales data from EB Games and The Warehouse. According to the agency:
"GfK data for New Zealand includes hardware sales only from The Warehouse and EB Games. However, GfK also has quite a sophisticated modeling system, which allows them to extrapolate software sales to give them a good indication of exact retail sales."
UPDATE - 1pm: Andrew Milgate, account manager for GfK Retail and Technology, has advised that The Warehouse does, in fact, provide both hardware and software figures for GfK's use. However, the policy of EB Games, in both Australia and New Zealand, has been stricly "hardware only" dating back to around 2005.