Origins of Australasian Game Developers

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Back in 2008, I created an article on the origins of Australian game developers which displayed some charts showing the links between various game companies that have spawned off from each other. It was fairly well received and was even used as a base by researchers interested in this kind of information.

A whole lot has happened since 2008 for the local industry including the global financial crisis and the incredible rise of indie games development, but sadly our article hasn't been updated to reflect the changes and all the new studios and indies that have popped up in the last four years.

Well, we're updating it now, and you can help out too if you like! We've made a simple Google Docs spreadsheet which can be editable by anybody and anyone can download the data as an Excel or PDF etc file to do what they like with it. Just click on the link at the end of this article and you're on your way! Adding additions is simple - put the parent company in the right and side of the table, and the child company that has spawned off it on the left. The child company *must* have been formed by an ex-employee/s of the parent company!

We're also wanting students to add their company as well! If you're from QUT, Qantm, AIE etc, and you've formed an indie group with fellow students, then we'd love to have your start-up listed with your educational institution as the parent.


Matt Ditton's picture

I set the Parent of the Queensland College of Art to Pandemic Studios as the two founding staff (Arash Mohebbi and I) were from there. Not sure if that's how you want universities in the diagram but there is a clear lineage there.


souri's picture

Hey, sure thing, that makes sense. Thanks to the others for making welcomed additions and changes too. The chart is coming along very nicely!

souri's picture

Ok, having said that, I've moved all the educational institutions under one banner since we're getting pockets of institutions under game companies (AIE under Micro Forte etc). I think it looks better organised this way.

Anonymous's picture

Not sure on the whole lineage thing... I know that one studio has a background with Micro Forte, but, didn't start directly after it but after a stint with an international studio. Also, there has been quite some time since then.

So, how do you work that out exactly?

souri's picture

For this chart, any child company formed from the parent has to be started up by ex-employee/s, and they have to have had formed after working at the parent company.

So in your particular case where they worked somewhere else in the meantime, it doesn't fit that criteria for the chart, unfortunately. If we accepted that, then it would muddle it all up with all the possible additions, I reckon.

Brad's picture

Wish there was a good way to capture the early to mid 90s Brisbane game-dev scene in this chart.

Along with John and Steve and their guys, there was the Stargunner crew, me and a few friends had Kingdom at War funded and published through Manaccom and I am sure there were other folks around. A lot of folks at this time coalesced out of the cracking/demo scene on the C64 and Amiga. People from these groups ended up at various developers in the late 90s to mid-2000s.

Manaccom hosted a game dev night with a lot of these folks in the early 90s - I remember them showing off a beta version of Doom since they were the local distributor of the shareware version.

souri's picture

Yeh, I know of a few people from the Sydney demo scene from the 90's who went on to the games industry, but I'm not sure how many would like to have themselves personally listed as such. Maybe because being involved with an underground subculture like that brings a kind of stigma that they don't want attached to their real names, I'm not sure. I have no problem with it. I did a whole bunch of great stuff when I was in the scene, and I have the utmost admiration for those did demo-scene stuff. You didn't have off-the-shelf engines, renderers or have a wide amount of resources to make those sorts of demos and productions back then ;)