It's been a while since the local games industry has had a nation-wide head count, but that's changed now thanks to Justin Brow from 60Sox (on behalf of the ISIS program). Justin made the call for developers a short while ago with the aim of gathering a more up to date headcount of the industry, and he's successfully managed to collect a whole lot of staff number details from local game development studios, including independent games developers and games developer related services (e.g Firelight Technologies with Fmod).
Please note, this study has only taken into account 'commercial entertainment' games and *not* serious games, advergames, infotainment etc. Using the data that Justin has passed on to me, I've made this nifty infographic. Click on the image below to view the entire image.
Now, Justin admits that the numbers aren't exactly "water-tight" due to some omissions which he'll explain below, but nonetheless, the numbers collected still provide a very reliable ball park figure on the current size of the Australian games industry.
(Justin) Obviously given the splintered nature of the industry atm, I do not profess that the attached count is water-tight. There are big shops operating who may well have reasonably-numbered teams of games developers working away (for instance, at this stage I have not spoken to anyone at Animal Logic or Rising Sun) as well as a myriad of one-person operations busily making the next Fruit Ninja in bedrooms across the country. I will say, though, that the attached count is certainly indicative of where we are at as an Industry today.
A big, huge thanks to Justin for doing all the work involved in contacting, following up and gathering all the data. There's a whole lot of discussion that can be had around these numbers and stats.