While North America and Europe saw industry sales declines, Australia's games biz grew to $2.05 billion in 2009, a record for the region in spite of a challenging economic climate.
Sales of hardware, software and peripherals were up 4 percent year over year, says GfK Retail and Technology Australia, whose data excludes online retail, DLC, subscriptions and mobile revenue.
Software sales rose 6 percent, while hardware sales in 2009 were 2.247 million units altogether as compared with 2.249 million in 2008. Peripheral sales surged 31 percent.
Consumer weblog Kotaku published a list
of the region's top 20 games, the top six of which were Nintendo titles led by Wii Fit
, Wii Sports Resort
and Wii Play
. According to GfK Australia, the "Family Games" segment is the most popular there, representing 27 percent of all sales in 2009 -- up 11 percent from 2008.
"Australia’s interactive entertainment industry continues to maintain sales despite the global economic slowdown," says Ron Curry, CEO of Australia trade body the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association. "Video games remain a popular household pastime that can be played by the entire family."
He adds: "Whilst a modest increase, we need to view this against a very tough economic environment and avoid comparing it to last year where consumers used their Government stimulus package to invest in a form of entertainment that brings the whole family together and can be enjoyed time and time again."