The Australian games market is beginning to falter as sales fall as consumers get back to work, questions also arise over the future of console gaming.
Researchers estimate that the gaming market in Australia has around 16.5 million gamers with more than 40% female gamers, the average selling price of a gaming PC is between $2,500 and $3,000 depending on retailers.
On average, a gamer spends more than 80 minutes a day playing with several major streaming brands that are now set to include access to games in addition to their movies and TV offerings.
Recently, Netflix said its move to bring games to mobile has been a huge success.
Now the game is starting to slow down after getting a boost from COVID with watchers trying to figure out where the industry is about to go.
When the pandemic was declared in March 2020, game sales increased according to research by the NPD Group, delivering 13 consecutive months of double-digit year-over-year growth.
Now the tables have turned with NPD Group reporting that spending on games this year, through May 2022, is down 19% year over year.
Gaming hardware retailers in Australia were told late last year by game publishers to expect a slowdown once pandemic restrictions eased and people started to pick up the habits and hobbies time they were unable to continue in lockdown.
Even then, they were optimistic that the industry would find itself in a stronger place than it was before the pandemic, with companies like Take-Two predicting that they would retain a significant share of the increased engagement. of the pandemic.
Despite this, Activision’s monthly active user count for Q1 2022 was the lowest number since Call of Duty Mobile launched for free in 2019.
Online site Gaming Industry reports that “the momentum of the pandemic is waning, but I suspect there is still some time to lose before we hit anything close to a new normal”. On the one hand, there are not many reinforcements to come”.
They claim a disappointing slew of showcase events in 2022 didn’t provide too much optimism for the rest of 2022 either, although it’s worth noting that Nintendo and Sony haven’t revealed anything exactly about that. they were planning for the second half of the year.
And then there’s the inconvenient fact that the pandemic isn’t actually over, and that has ramifications not just for customer habits, but also for the supply chain. Xbox CFO Tim Stuart told investors this week that recent lockdowns in China mean the company expects to see supply chain issues until at least next year.
The big question now is if Australia is heading into a recession, will Australians return to gambling instead of spending their disposable dollar on entertainment and travel.
“The entertainment industry is not countercyclical despite what people say. After the 2008 financial crisis that we suffered, our competitors suffered, our numbers suffered and we wouldn’t wish that on anyone. – Strauss Zelnick of Take-Two said considering what happened in 2011 after the GFC.
Analysts say the console and PC space will lack obvious needle movers in the coming months, mobile also faltered – NPD mobile partner Sensor Tower reported that consumer spending on Google Play had declined 23% year-over-year in May – and macroeconomic conditions do not look too favorable in the short to medium term.
GamingIndustry reports that gaming spending is still well above pre-pandemic levels, as NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella pointed out on Twitter, but it’s clear the industry is giving back some of the initial pandemic momentum. . What is less clear is how much further it has to go down and how much momentum it can maintain in the long term.
With consoles such as Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox still hard to buy, several insiders are predicting that console gaming is “dead”, it was said in 2012.
David Jaffe, game director on God of War in 2005, recently said, “Listen, consoles are going. I think in ten years – probably sooner, but ten years is always the safest thing to say so as not to sound like an idiot – but here’s what I will say: I will say publicly that the next generation of the hardware will be the latest consoles. And they should be.
Several observers have argued that the Sony PS5 isn’t all that different from the PS3 basically – we hook it up to a monitor and buy discs or download games from first and third-party publishers to play – the console market itself- even had changed drastically since 2012.
For one thing, the walled gardens of rig holders are increasingly growing on top of each other. Players on one console platform can compete against those on another, or against PC players and mobile players. Sony is bringing many of its first-party exclusives to PC and has released MLB The Show 21 and 22 on Xbox and released them both in Game Pass on day one.
Microsoft has put Minecraft on everything and released indie-developed hits like Cuphead and Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch. Nintendo – perhaps the most stubborn of companies when it comes to releasing its products on platforms it does not own – bowed to investor pressure at a financial low point in 2015 and began to create mobile games.
Console libraries are also becoming less important, as exclusive third-party games that rocked previous console generations have become exceedingly rare, and cross-platform ports for big games are more or less assumed (provided the hardware is powerful enough to manage them).
Lowering barriers for indie developers also means that the big three platforms are brimming with more new original content than any gamer could enjoy in a single lifetime, so every system is a source of entertainment for people.
And then there’s on-demand cloud streaming, which was behind so many “consoles are dead” predictions in 2012 to begin with.
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