Globally, the gaming industry is one that generates hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue. You might suspect you could name the major markets, and you would probably place them in North America, East Asia, and Western Europe. You would only be partially right.
Market research carried out by Bond University in Gold Coast, Queensland, shows that Australia is one of the biggest markets in the world on the basis of per capita spending. The 2021 study showed that for the first time, Australians spend more time playing games than watching free-to-air TV.
Australians also have a tendency towards early adoption. That is to say, what’s popular there today is likely to be popular in the rest of the world tomorrow. Here, we take a look at just what games have been capturing the attention of the 17 million Australians who consider gaming to be one of the most rewarding pastimes.
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Casual Games Top The List
When we look at the types of games that are most popular, it tells us a good deal about the way Australians tend to approach gaming. Casual games are ideal for killing idle moments, perhaps during a break or while waiting for some other process to complete.
So what do we mean by casual games? In short, these are games that need little introduction, where the rules are obvious, and where the player can jump in for a quick game and be gone again within five minutes.
Candy Crush Saga is one of the well-known casual games among Australians, but it is rapidly being joined by titles like Coin Master and Solitaire King, social casino-type games where you can take on both friends and strangers, and the top scorers win in-game currency. These are not to be confused with the next category of games.
Real-Money Casino Games are An Aussie Staple
Pokies, or slot machines as they are known in the rest of the world, are part of the Aussie landscape, a common sight in pubs and cafes across the country. That could change if some of the legal reforms currently under discussion are enforced, but they are also massively popular online. The number of Australians playing at online casinos for real money has approximately doubled since 2020, and while games like blackjack and roulette are popular, Australians wager more on pokies than on all other forms of online betting put together.
Online mobile casino platforms offer all the games that Australians can find at physical casinos, and usually many more. As they have lower overheads, they can afford to operate with lower profit margins, which ultimately means a better chance of a win.
eSport Has Raised The Profile of FPS Games
First Person Shooter games have traditionally been most popular with more serious gamers. For one thing, they typically demand a PC or game console, and for another, these are games to which you need to dedicate some time and practice. You can’t just pick them up for a two-minute distraction like a casual game.
Popular FPS games in Australia include Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Doom, and of course, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The latter, in particular, has helped bring FPS games to a wider audience as it is arguably the most popular eSport game – at least, from the spectator’s perspective.
This, in combination with the increasing choice of FPS games for mobile, has helped to propel this type of game into the top three.
Sports Games Still Have a Solid Following
The Australian love of sport is not just a cliché. From the earliest days of video games, sports games have always sold well in Australia, and “solid sellers” remains a good description in 2023.
Global hits like FIFA and NBA2K have a good following in Australia, but there are also titles that are focused more specifically on Australia-specific sports, such as AFL Live and AFL Challenge.
Motor racing games are another staple that never goes out of fashion. Real Racing 3 remains a consistent best seller on the mobile market. Although almost 10 years have gone by since it was first released, the people at Firemonkeys keep coming up with new ideas, cars, and experiences.
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