Australia’s gaming industry nearly doubled its sales in 2007 with figures skyrocketing to $1.3 billion, according to the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA).

Statistics compiled by independent market research group GfK Australia, indicate Australians purchased 15.4 million games last year. As the popularity of games and consoles tend to rise in the months leading up to the festive season, more than one third of all games – almost six million – were sold in the final quarter.
According to Ron Curry, CEO of the IEAA, the 43.6 per cent increase in sales from 2006 to 2007 is a record achievement compared to the seven per cent increase from 2005 to 2006. Curry adds the dramatic boost is largely driven by the release of popular gaming consoles and the rising median age of Australian gamers.

“Last year, Australians welcomed the arrival of the PS3 and marked a full year since the release of the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. The launch of highly anticipated next generation gaming drove console sales to almost $500 million, nearly double the $270 million sold in 2006. Sales figures also indicate a resurging popularity in handheld consoles with 2.3 million units of software for the Nintendo DS system purchased last year compared to the 840,000 purchased in 2006,” says Curry.

“The gaming industry is no longer a niche market appealing only to traditional gamers. With a wide variety of games available, interactive entertainment is attracting people from all ages and all walks of life. It is interesting to note that as more Australians embrace the most advanced gaming innovations and purchase the latest games, the average age of gamers has risen to 28 years old.”