According to the Digital Australia report of 2020, two out of three Australians play video games. Also, the gaming industry in the country has more turnover than the movie or music industries. This shows how absolutely captivated Aussies are about video games. Although thousands of video games have been released to the market over the years and this year, too, has already seen the release of hundreds of exciting video games across the globe, only a few games remain popular in 2021. So, what is the history of video games in Australia, and what video games are popular in Australia in 2021? Let’s take a look.
The Video Games Industry in Australia
Australia has been home to a video games industry for a few decades now, with its roots traceable to the 1980s. As with most industries, the Australian video games industry has experienced periods of growth and setbacks alike since it started. These periods of setbacks can be attributed to strong competition from other studios in the international market, which unsurprisingly is quite popular with Aussie video game enthusiasts.
In 2014, the retail sales in the interactive game industry of Australia, both traditional retail sales and digital sales, were approximately $2.46 Billion, which happens to be about a 20% increase than that of 2013. The industry recorded $3.23 Billion in 2017, and in 2018, $4.03 Billion. This number keeps increasing yearly, and this can be attributed to the rapid growth in digital video games sales in the country. The traditional sales, on the other hand, remain more or less the same over the years.
Overall, the video game industry in Australia is small compared to the world’s largest industries, including Canada, Japan, and the United States. However, a thriving local industry is expected to keep growing to become a household industry sooner or later.
The Most Popular Video Games 2021 in Australia
Be it the ones purchased and installed on devices or downloaded from the internet, you will find various video games popular within many circles in Australia. Even online video slot games like the More Chilli pokie machine are getting a lot of attention in the country.
Cyberpunk 2077 is an action role-playing video game that has gained immense popularity in the Australian and international markets. The game sold over 424,000 copies in Australia alone. Released in September 2020, this game was developed and published by the Polish video game developer, publisher, and distributor, CD Projekt.
The action takes place in Night City, an open world in the Cyberpunk universe, where everyone is obsessed with power, glamour, and body modifications. You play as V, a mercenary and outlaw who is equipped with cybernetic enhancements. He is on the search for a one-of-a-kind implant that guarantees immortality, and you are to help him build a legend on the streets of the Night City as he goes on the quest. The best part is that players are free to customize V’s voice, face, hairstyle, clothing, background, and body type, and modifications to suit their preferences. The game is available across diverse platforms, including Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Stadia, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.
Baldur’s Gate III
Baldur’s Gate III is another role-playing video game that is popular amongst Australian players in 2021. It is the third main game in the Baldur’s Gate series, developed and published by the Belgian video game developer and publisher Larian Studios. The action takes place in the Forgotten Realms, and you have to gather your party to escape capture and fight the Mind Flayers. In this epic sequel, players will go through a journey of fellowship, betrayal, sacrifice, and lure of unimaginable power.
Unfortunately, Baldur’s Gate is currently in early release, and the full game has not yet been released. Notwithstanding, it managed to become a best-selling game on the day of its early release launch and has become a favorite in Australia. It is available to players across Microsoft Windows, Stadia, and macOS platforms.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is an online multiplayer battle royale video game that has been enjoying attention from video game enthusiasts across the globe. The game was developed and published by PUBG Corporation, which happens to be a subsidiary of the South Korea-based video game company Krafton Inc.
PUBG is a player versus player shooting game in which dozens to hundreds of players fight in a last-man-standing battle royale game. You can enter the game as a solo player, as part of a duo, or with a small team of up to four other players. When the game starts, all players will parachute from a plane with no gear beyond customized clothing selections. Once you drop, you will have to search buildings, ghost towns, and other sites to find weapons, ammunition, armor, transport, and other equipment. The last player or team who manages to stay alive while the others are dead wins the match. The game is currently available across diverse platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Stadia, Android, and iOS.
Minecraft is another video game that is quite popular amongst Australian players in 2021. Developed and published by the Stockholm-based video game developer, Mohanj Studios, Minecraft is a sandbox video game that first made its appearance in 2009 and has since released many major updates. With more than 200 million copies sold and 126 million monthly active users as of 2020, Minecraft is undoubtedly the best-selling video game of all time.
In this game, players explore a blocky, procedurally generated 3D world filled with 3D rough objects called blocks, representing different materials such as water, dirt, stones, lava, and tree trunks. The gameplay involves picking up and placing these blocks. Over the years, this game has been ported to several platforms and is now available across many different ones, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation3, PlayStation 4, and so many others. It is also available for Android and iOS devices.
Australian-Made Video Games
Video games made in Australia are often an afterthought for most game lovers, even Australian ones. However, Australian developers have a history of creating fantastic video games that have become popular in the local and international markets. Both locally and abroad, Aussie-made games are starting to gain positive accolades. Some of their more popular titles that have gained acceptance over the years include:
- Fruit Ninja
- L.A. Noire
- The Hobbit