New Zealand consumers spent $162 million on digital games in 2013 compared to $133 million at retail.
According to data from NPD Group, sales of console hardware, games software and accessories sold through traditional retail channels fell by eight per cent compared to 2012.
Digital sales, however, driven largely by revenue generated by mobile games, accounted for over 50 per cent of the industry, according to Telsyte research commissioned by the IGEA, bringing the total spend on games in New Zealand to just short of $300 million.
By contrast, last week we reported that Australians spent just over $2 billion on games, with just over half of that amount coming through traditional retail channels.
Mark Goodacre, IGEA's New Zealand director, says, “We’re seeing more New Zealanders consume games across a wide variety of consoles and mobile devices and consequently, extend the ‘traditional’ console experience with in-game extras bought online or a version of the game which users can access via their smartphone and other internet connected devices.
"It is encouraging to see traditional retail sales are strongly supported by New Zealand consumers choosing to purchase video games content both online and ‘offline.’”
“While this significant increase in revenue and the velocity of change in content and content delivery excites the industry, it also poses increasing issues on the policy front, where legislation and legislators lag a long way behind the industry," he adds.
"These results highlight the need for government to quickly engage with industry to ensure that legislation can adapt to the speed of change facing New Zealanders.”