IGN AU has an editorial on the ongoing downsizing of the Australian games industry, brought upon the recent round of lay-offs from Krome Studios late last month. They cover the high profile closures of Pandemic Studios Brisbane and Auran, particularly focussing on Auran's Fury's failure to spark interest in the MMOG market.
Of course, the uptake of having many professional game developers let go means that some have taken a chance in the casual and social gaming market on their own, however the long term health of the industry is in question as the rest have to compete for the few remaining positions available or find work in other industries or countries.
Other companies are booming from the casual and social gaming market, with Firemint and Nnooo! Games listed as a clear examples of developers making inroads in these emerging markets. Games Developer Association of Australia (GDAA) CEO, Tony Reed, has contributed to the editorial, giving a positive outlook on what many would say has been the darkest period in the local games development industry...
"Many of the GDAA's members are restructuring and reshaping their companies to prepare for the future," Reed explains. "There will, almost certainly, be short term pain for long term gain. This shouldn't suggest that the Australian industry is contracting, quite the opposite.
We are seeing a number of startup companies sprouting up all over Australia, manned by incredibly talented individuals, each with a unique view and innovative concept to bring to the global market. We have more game development companies now than we had before the GFC!"