New Zealanders spent on NZ$452.3 million on video games last year, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association says.

That's a a seven per cent increase on 2016, and combined with the NZ$100m that local game developers export, makes the video game industry worth more than half a billion dollars to the economy.

Digital sales (game downloads, mobile game sales, and subscriptions) hit NZ$334 million in 2017, up 12 per cent on the previous year.

Digital game downloads were up 21 per cent on 2016 sales. Digital extras also increased 17 per cent year-on-year.

Home console hardware and accessories sales both experienced growth, up 10 per cent and six per cent respectively.

New Zealand total physical retail sales came in at NZ$118.3 million, and overall digital sales at NZ$334 million last year.

Kiwis spent $450m on games last year

According to data from The NPD Group, overall physical retail sales experienced a four per cent decline, but this was offset by an increase in sales volume, which was up four per cent in 2017.

Home console hardware and accessories sales also increased last year. PlayStation 4 continued to dominate the hardware sector, with Xbox One bolstering category growth with the introduction of Xbox One X. The Nintendo Switch also entered the market, performing well alongside the Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES and Nintendo Classic Mini: NES.

Research from technology analyst firm Telsyte shows total digital sales were up 12 per cent in 2017. Digital downloads, including full game downloads and digital extras, increased by 20 per cent last year. Subscription revenue also continued to grow, up 22 per cent year-on-year. Mobile game sales retained the majority share of the digital games market at NZ$175 million.

“The New Zealand video and computer games industry is in great shape, evidenced by the latest sales figures that show consumer spending is headed towards half a billion dollars,” said Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA.

“New Zealanders are more than happy to access their games content in a variety of ways, both physically and digitally. Sales for the current generation of consoles – PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch – remain strong. At the same time, we’re seeing impressive growth in subscription revenue, mobile game sales, and downloads of digital games and extras.”

Foad Fadaghi, Telsyte Managing Director, said: “With greater than 70 per cent of households having access to the ultra-fast broadband (UFB), New Zealand’s gamers continue to increase their spending on digital games and extras at a rapid rate.”