Last year there were still quite a lot of lockdowns occurring, so what did Aussies to do entertain themselves? Game it seems, with the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) today stating that Aussies spent “close to $4 billion on video games and consoles” in 2021.

The breakdown of that $4 billion correlates with how we find most people are performing their gaming these days with mobile game sales making up $1.5 billion of it. Of course, video game hardware is still popular with Aussies spending more than half a billion dollars in the single year — and that was when it was difficult to find some consoles to purchase due to stock shortages.

As you would expect, the sales in hardware were led by the higher priced consoles such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S. The Nintendo Switch also had significant unit sales for the year with more users jumping on the Nintendo Switch train than any other console.

Aidan Sakiris, ANZ Territory Manager and Senior Analyst at GSD, said, “Australian video game sales in 2021 continued to experience the lasting effects of COVID-19. The Australian retail software charts were led by family-friendly back-catalogue titles on the Nintendo Switch. Top performing retail titles in Australia for 2021 include Mario Kart 8 DeluxeMinecraft Switch Edition and Animal Crossing: New Horizons” (good to see I’m not the only one still addicted to the Mario Kart franchise).

Spend on games themselves also grew, 11.5% for the year, providing hours of entertainment for users throughout the pandemic in 2021 — the Digital Australia 22 report revealed that over 75% of Aussies play digital games of some sort. I know I contributed to my fair share of that volume of sales.

It will be interesting to see how these sales fare in 2022 given the lack of any form of lockdowns but at the same time you would expect gaming hardware to become easier and easier to find in stock. It is possible that the market may stagnate over 2022 given the ability to socialise a lot more may remove some of the hours spent gaming last year.