Once viewed as a fad for teens, video games have defied doubters and become an established part of the entertainment scene. Those teens grew up, and continue to play games with the same enthusiasm as they did decades earlier. All the while, new generations of Australians are joining in on the fun.
According to Business Information Analysts IBIS World the Video Games industry is set to grow by 11.9% ($433.85m) throughout 2011, making it one of the sectors to watch this year.
The video games industry is now double the size of the box office and more than 40 per cent larger than the movie disc industry in Australia
In 2008, 88% of Australian households have a device for playing computer games. Of these households, 39% have one device, 27% have two devices and 16% have three devices. 18% of game households have four or more devices for gaming. In other words, ofall Australian households, 34% have one game device, 24% have two devices, 14% have three, 16% have four or more and 12% have no game devices. The majority of installed game devices are consoles (43%), followed by PCs (39%) and handhelds (18%); however, point of sale data shows that handhelds dominated sales of new devices in 2007-2008. 90% of game households have PCs and these are used by most gamers.
The average age of computer and video game players in Australia is 30 years old.
Females make up 46% of the player population in 2008, up from 41% in 2007.
70% of parents in game households play computer and video games and 80% of these parents play them with their children. 67% of mothers and 69% of fathers agree that they play computer and video games as a way to spend time with their children. A third of parents play games with their children as a way to monitor what their children play.
Most of the world's commercial computer games are made by big international games publishers such as Electronic Arts, Sony and Vivendi Universal. Some Australian companies work with these publishers to produce games, while others are carving out their own independent niches. Australia's games production companies produce $100 million worth of games a year according to the GDAA. Analysts say this figure is growing bigger every year.
Working with top global publishers and device manufacturers, Australia’s more than 90 game development studios have won international acclaim for games such as Star Wars: the Force Unleashed and Clone Wars, Bioshock 2, Heroes of the Pacific, Rome: Total War, Flight Control and Puzzle Quest.