Games Sales Handle GFC

Video game sales topped the $2 billion mark for 2009, which begs the question: Is gaming recession proof?

GfK Retail and Technology Australia says interactive gaming and entertainment industry continues to hold its own achieving a record sales result of just over $2 billion for the 2009 calendar year.

Despite last year’s economic climate, sales data compiled by the company shows video and computer gaming sales record of $2.05 billion – an increase of 4 per cent from 2008. 
So does this make gaming recession-proof? It’s hard to quantify, as there has never really been a bad gaming year, and we’re pretty sure that under certain economic conditions, even gaming would probably suffer from declining sales.

What seems know, is that when people are cutting back on discretion spending such as going to the movies, out to dinner or going to events, they tend to stay home for entertainment – certainly something gaming is built for. And once you have a console, the outlay versus the amount of entertainment value, is high.

The data includes all sales from hardware, gaming peripherals and traditionally boxed software, yet excludes revenue generated from online retail sales, downloadable content, online games subscriptions and games delivered to mobile phones.

‘Family Games’ remain key to the industry’s stability proving to be the best selling genre for the second year in a row. 27 per cent of all games sold were from the ‘Family Games’ genre – up 11 per cent from 2008. The second most popular genre was Action, making up 15 per cent of all games sold.

Software sales increased by 6 per cent from last year and hardware sales remain steady with 2.247 million units sold in 2009 compared to 2.249 million units sold in 2008.
Sales for gaming peripherals also experienced an increase of 31 per cent, which is no surprise considering the sheer number of households in the country that now have consoles.

“Despite a challenging economic climate, interactive entertainment has proven to offer families good value entertainment.  We expect that in 2010 the industry will continue to maintain its steady sales performance as playing video games becomes as popular as watching television or surfing the net,” said Curry.