The Gaming Industry in Australia

 

Independent game developers in Australia are met with unreasonable classification prices and many hoops to jump through due to their platform of choice (PC, XBOX, PS3 etc), while others (like APPS for smartphones) are now seen as the key market and don’t have any price to pay for their creative production. This change in market has driven many independent developers to close production and face a lot of debt. I want to explore the change in the market by interviewing someone within the industry and get their opinion on not only smart phone APPs but also what they think of the classification board and how this is affecting Melbourne’s independent game developers and the gaming industry overall in Australia.

 

This year Australians can finally get their hands on an R-18+ game in gaming and technology stores, which of course is a major break through in Australia and something that gamers have been fighting the classification board and the government for a long time.

So you would think that with this breakthrough everything would settle in the Australian gaming industry, however there are problems that I’m sure a lot of gamers aren’t aware of, because I know I wasn’t.

To begin with being a small independent gaming company in Australia is a risk on it’s on, as the market is huge and to be successful you need to not only have a fantastic game but also have the money to back it. You can’t put your game forth to the classification board unless it meets with a few very specific criteria, oh and almost one grand just to pitch your game.

With up and coming independent gaming developers having high dreams of getting their game out there, they are then faced with the struggling to jump through all of classification hoops and come up with the ridiculous fee. These developers are being scrutinized based on the choice of platform they choose to develop in. While developers who choose to release a game via APP for smart phones don’t have to pay the classification board or even get it assessed. Its unfair that the classification board has such a high price on a certain niche.

Big Ant Studios was a gaming company located in the heart of Melbourne before they were forced into liquidation and is in a huge amount of debt, 6.7 million. This is just one of two Australian independent developing company’s that were forced into liquidation due to the market shifting to a mobile and smaller games instead of larger ones designed for multi platforms.

Possible Interviews (Not in any order in particular, just people who would have a fanatic opinion on the topic)

 

  • Big Ant Studios

Even though they have filed for liquidation they are a company that unfortunately had a negative effect about the market change. If possible I would love to ask them about their opinion on the market (however there may not be anyone left to talk to/willing to talk to me as it would be a difficult time for many)

 

Level 1, 71 City Road, Southbank, Victoria, 3006

 

Phone: (03) 9600 2111

Fax: (03) 9670 0055

 

  • QANTM

A Melbourne Independent College that specializes in creative digital media education. They have a course in animation, games design games programing, graphics design and interactive media.

 

Qantm Melbourne

235 Normanby Road
South Melbourne VIC 3205

Tel. +61 (0)3 8632 3450
Fax. +61 (0)3 8632 3401

 

  • Andrew Goulding

Mr Goulding is the creator of the company Brawsom that specialize in comedic games. Mr Goulding is an independent game developer who founded Brawsome in 2008. One of his games ‘Jolly Rover’ was declared best Australian game, and a fantastic example of an independent game developer making it in the market.

http://www.brawsome.com.au/blog/index.php/contact/

 

Web pages that have helped me

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/fears-smartphone-game-apps-could-get-the-chop-in-australia-20100817-128cr.html

 

http://www.brawsome.com.au/blog/

 

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/leisure-and-gaming/053525-melbourne-games-studio-big-ant-collapses-as-market-continues-to-reward-mobile-developers.html

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