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July 29, 2007 - There's no question that, in a year of console launches and more development activity than ever, Australia has embraced gaming like never before. Australia's gaming industry has officially come of age, breaking the $1 billion sales mark over the past financial year, according to the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA).

Compiled by GfK Australia, the latest statistics show an overall market increase of 30 per cent over the past six months, with over 5.5 million games and almost half a million gaming consoles sold since January 1 this year.

"This is a spectacular result for the Australian gaming industry. Breaking through the $1 billion mark highlights the seriousness and sheer scale of the industry in Australia," says Chris Hanlon, CEO of IEAA.

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Check out the IEAA's latest findings:

Australian Gamers
  • The average age of Australian gamers is 28 years
  • Interactive games are attracting new players, 41 per cent are female, 8 per cent are seniors
  • Playing computer games does not compete with outdoor leisure activities; rather it competes with other media such as TV, film and music
  • 62 per cent of Australians in game households say the classification of a game has no influence on their buying decision
  • Online gaming ranks 10th in the list of activities Australians identify as common uses of the internet. Top of the list are email, web browsing, banking and payments
  • By 2014, the average age of gamers will be 42 years old
  • Only 19 per cent of gamers prefer to play alone
  • For PC games, strategy is the most popular genre among Australian gamers, followed by action, then adventure
  • For console games, adventure is the most popular genre among Australian gamers, followed by action, racing, then sports
  • 77 per cent of parents play computer games with their children Over half of all Australians say computer games are more social forms of entertainment than other media

Australian Gaming Industry
  • Australia has over 40 game development companies that in the past 20 years have developed more than 200 titles
  • Annual export revenues are AUD$100 million Australia's key strengths as game developers include world class education and training resources, world class creative talent and a critical mass of complementary creative industries across a range of digital media

The figures indicate strong hardware sales, which generated almost $150 million in the last six months alone. Australians have also enjoyed the latest releases in games, spending almost $264 million over the same period.

"Australia is growing in significance in the international gaming industry. There are 40 game development companies across the country, employing some 2,500 people that have produced 240 game titles," says Hanlon.

We spoke with IEAA CEO Chris Hanlon about the latest figures, how they were collected and what this means to you, the loyal Aussie gamer. [Register or Login to view links] on the next step towards an R classification and the direction the Australian industry is heading.

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