The video game industry is exploding in Australia, with new figures released today showing games revenue double that of box office revenue and 40% larger than the DVD market.

The figures were released by the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, so they of course are a bit biased, but the numbers certainly look good. The games industry brought in $1.96 billion Australian in calendar year 2008, increasing 47 percent over the previous year. For the same period, box office revenues were $946 million and movies on disc took in $1.4 billion.

What's the reason behind the jump in gaming? Casual family gaming.

Ron Curry, chief executive officer of the IEAA, said gaming had evolved from "the guy sitting in his bedroom with his PC being anti-social" to a "much more social and a whole family event".

He cited recent research from Bond University showing that 68 per cent of Australians played video games and 88 per cent of houses had a gaming machine.

"We've seen a 137 per cent increase in family games - things like music and dance games, party games, puzzle games, that sort of stuff is really making up the bulk of the dollars," he said.


Another triumph for the casual and social gaming sectors! Once we've got them all hooked we'll slowly begin scooting the towards more traditional genres. Perhaps a 3D first-person game where you pet puppies.

Video games thrash movies and DVDs [The Age]