Digital Australia Discussion

da16_logoThe Digital Australia report which was recently released show a large group of statistics associated with the digital games industry within Australia. Among these statistics founded was the percentage of people who plan to work in the industry being a mere 10%. So why is this so low in Australia itself?

Even though our games industry is worth more then 2.4 billion in Australia alone there seems to be a huge lack of employment opportunities for anyone wanting to join the industry.

“Australia was a go-to place for publishers who wanted to develop lower budget titles because of the weak Australian dollar at the time,”said Powerhoof co-founder Dave Lloyd. “There wasn’t a lot of opportunity at that point for companies to be creating their own Intellectual Property (IP), and definitely not with the same budgets that real AAA studios had – the risk of taking on a creative project was too high.”

The worst hit to our industry was probably to close of the last big AAA company in Australia, 2K  Australia along with other large companies such as Blue Tongue were forced to close due to the financial crisis. 1429858408545

“2K was known as the last of Australia’s “triple-A” studios, a somewhat nebulous term that typically refers to original large-scale games with substantial budgets, sold in physical, boxed form in retail stores. 2K Australia worked on games in such popular series as Borderlands and Bioshock.”

From this collapse though came the golden age of smaller indie groups and private companies to create smaller scale productions and mobile games. These smaller groups though only have a much smaller staff and space for people to join their ranks forcing alot of people to move out of the country to find better paying work in the industry.

“According to the Games Developers Association of Australia (GDAA), the main advocacy and professional association for the industry, somewhere between 60-70% of industry workers had either moved to another industry or had left Australia for more resilient industry locations and/or those better supported by government policy and programs.”

Some of the lack in peoples interest to work in the industry also comes from the lack of government support for these smaller groups with many funding incentives being halved or even cut completely. This lack of support makes its harder for these small groups to even get their foot in the door with the amount of funds being required to both market themselves as a company let alone their product itself.

“Australian policy making and support for local videogames development has been intermittent, half-hearted and often poorly targeted. The most important recent initiative, Labor’s A$20 million Australian Interactive Games Fund, was cut in half by the incoming Liberal government in 2013.”

So in conclusion the only way to really make it more beneficial for those interested in the industry and keeping it within our own economy would be to institute some kind of backing or even fund these smaller groups. This would allow them to grow and become large scale companies that could produce their own IP in order to put Australia on the list of big AAA production countries like America and Japan.

 

Bibliography
Banks, J. and Cunningham, S. (2016) Sizing up the future for Australia’s video game industry. Available at: http://theconversation.com/sizing-up-the-future-for-australias-video-game-industry-54817 (Accessed: 6 November 2016).

Hunt, S. (2015) In need of a 1UP: The state of the Australian video games industry. Available at: http://www.cybershack.com.au/feature/the-state-of-australias-video-game-industry-091115-2 (Accessed: 6 November 2016).
James’DexX’Dominguez (2015) The fall of the great Australian video games studio. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/the-fall-of-the-great-australian-video-games-studio-20150424-1mshm2.html (Accessed: 6 November 2016).

Citations, Quotes & Annotations

James’DexX’Dominguez (2015) The fall of the great Australian video games studio. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/the-fall-of-the-great-australian-video-games-studio-20150424-1mshm2.html (Accessed: 6 November 2016).
(James’DexX’Dominguez, 2015)
Hunt, S. (2015) In need of a 1UP: The state of the Australian video games industry. Available at: http://www.cybershack.com.au/feature/the-state-of-australias-video-game-industry-091115-2 (Accessed: 6 November 2016).
(Hunt, 2015)

Banks, J. and Cunningham, S. (2016) Sizing up the future for Australia’s video game industry. Available at: http://theconversation.com/sizing-up-the-future-for-australias-video-game-industry-54817 (Accessed: 6 November 2016).
(Banks and Cunningham, 2016)

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