Kiwi gamers spent $543 million on video game hardware and software in 2021 - report

Someone playing a Nintendo Switch with headphones on
"Playing games is part of everyday life for the majority of Kiwis." Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwi gamers spent more than half a billion dollars on video game hardware and software in 2021, according to newly released data.

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) has revealed New Zealanders spent $543 million on their habit last year, with digital sales dominating.

According to the figures, digital sales were worth $225 million, with in-game purchases worth a massive $108 million.

Full game purchases brought in $98 million, while subscriptions to the likes of Sony's PlayStation Plus and Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass were worth $19 million.

Traditional retail store sales were worth $121 million, with the majority - $71 million - spent on hardware.

Software brought in $32 million in sales, with first party peripherals worth an additional $18 million.

Mobile game sales dwarfed retail stores too, with $197 million spent.

Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, said New Zealanders have long had a love for playing video games and continue to embrace playing games in all formats.

"According to our Digital New Zealand 2022 report, over 3.7 million New Zealanders play games. Games are played not only for fun and entertainment but for social connection and education with consumer sales growing accordingly," he said.

"Playing games is part of everyday life for the majority of Kiwis."

IGEA works with data suppliers sourcing consumer sales from both GSD and Newzoo, the company said.

GSD reports on major publisher and hardware sales in both physical and digital format across numerous international markets, while Newzoo reports on game sales data globally.

Tom Wijman, head of market analysis and forecasting at Newzoo, said Aotearoa's market for digital PC and console games grew again year on year to reach $225 million.

"The growing install base for game consoles as well as further lockdown measures lead to an overall growth in sales for 2021.

"The market for mobile games grew faster than any other segment, but unlike the global average, New Zealand's PC and console markets are still larger than its mobile market," he said.

Aidan Sakiris, ANZ territory manager and senior analyst at GSD said the video game spending growth in 2021 was driven by a "sizable increase" in hardware sales.

"This was largely due to the heightened availability of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S throughout the year, but also the increasing relevance of Nintendo Switch in the New Zealand market," he said.

"Software charts comprised of new releases including FIFA 22 and Far Cry 6 as the top performers, but also select titles generally being sold alongside new hardware purchases such as Spiderman: Miles Morales on PS5 as well as Assassin's Creed Valhalla."