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The sad reality facing Adelaide games development

The sinking realisation that the game development industry in Adelaide will have to carry on with the efforts of hobbyists and independent game developers is starting to settle in with the latest updates on Krome Studios Adelaide, the last high-profiled game development studio in South Australia.

While gallant attempts were made to save the games developer, many of the remaining employees from Krome Studios Adelaide are finishing up today, confirmed by a post on tsumea by Dan Thorsland, previously a producer from Ratbag Games and Senior Producer from Krome Studios Adelaide.

I'll be hitting the pub with the Adelaide guys this afternoon -- most will be let go today. A few do remain, but more of a tech service desk for other studios. Design/art/animation is pretty much gone. Don't know about Melbourne.

The unfortunate news is that interest in game development related education in Adelaide is still growing, with TAFE enrolments for game art courses doubling in the past year.

It is a far cry from the height of the Ratbag games era where Adelaide was once the pinnacle of Australian games development with the release of Powerslide and numerous racing games, but the sad reality faced by those currently studying games development in Adelaide is that they will have to move interstate for a career in high-level game development or rough it out on their own as an independent games developer.

City-messenger has reported on the news, receiving some sombre responses from the South Australian game development community...

Two Lives Left co-director, Simeon Nasilowski...

...if you want to work on a high-profile game, Adelaide's not the place for it

Adelaide University Game Development Club executive, Matthew Scutter...

It's certainly a worry for our members it will mean they may have to move interstate to get jobs in the game industry

Head on over to City Messenger for the report.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/10 - 5:26 PM Permalink

The way things are now in Australia I would say that anyone wanting to work in games development for a reputable studio will have to move overseas for work.

Most studios in this country are set to end the same way as Adelaide. No amount of spin from any of them about the tech they use or how well they they SAY they are doing will change that.

It is a shame, but most of these studios have upper management to thank for this sad situation.

Submitted by Mario on Fri, 17/09/10 - 10:07 AM Permalink

Halfbrick or Firemint?

To my knowledge, decent studios run by decent people creating successful original IP?

As for whose "fault" this is, I wouldn't underestimate the impact the recession has had on the local industry with many studios around the world fighting over a much smaller pool of lower value products, as well as the massively adverse effect a stronger Australian dollar has on the ability for local studios to be competitive.

Management should always be scrutinised and held accountable where appropriate, but I don't think anything is simple in the current climate.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/10 - 8:15 PM Permalink

I think 2k Marin is probably the safest studio.

although i hear they crunch pretty hard.

Submitted by Paul Malyschko on Fri, 17/09/10 - 4:58 PM Permalink

Krome Adelaide's downfall can be taken either as a blessing or a curse. I see it as a blessing, as it frees up experienced talent. Take note and use the situation to your advantage instead of lamenting the state of the industry. Halfbrick, Firemint and Infinite Interactive have had success interstate; there's no reason a smart outfit in Adelaide couldn't do the same.

Submitted by Simeon Nasilowski on Fri, 17/09/10 - 8:39 PM Permalink

The article from the messenger was a lot more negative than it could have been. I am quoted as saying that "Adelaide is not the place for high profile games." I only meant that one wouldn't expect to see jobs opening for triple A titles in Adelaide in the near future.

However, I also said that it's an excellent creative environment for indie game development and a place to meet a lot of talented people. Like Paul Malyschko says above, there's no reason a success story like Halfbrick or Firemint couldn't be born in Adelaide.