Okay the question is up in the air.
does anybody in the games industry know we exist ?
That was the query made by Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) spokesperson, Andrew Fitzsimon, on Sumea back in 2002. Almost a decade later, the same question is likely to prompt a similar answer. Does anyone in the local games industry even know the AIMIA exist?
Morgan Jaffit, ex-Lead Designer at Pandemic Aus and currently director of Defiant Development, has written an open letter to the AIMIA expressing his disappointment to the industry body which he describes as "entirely irrelevant to game developers in Australia". Established in 1992, AIMIA puts itself as the peak industry body for interactive content and digital media in Australia.
Citing information on the AIMIA website and particularly their recently held annual AIMIA Awards, Morgan points out the severe lack of Australian games developer representation anywhere. For the AIMIA awards, you'd be hard pressed to find any familiar names even for the "Best Mobile Product or Service", "Best Cross Platform, or "Best Use of Social Media" categories which many local games developers are arguably leading on the international stage, let alone on the local digital scene.
From Morgan's open letter...
Your upcoming gamification event (the only thing I could find anywhere in the AIMIA site that looks even slightly games related) is another example of this reluctance to actually engage with game developers. Only 3rd Sense (who are an agency that makes games rather than strictly a games developer) are represented. You wouldn’t know from looking that Australia has some of the worlds leading projects in every platform – from flash and mobile developers through to $30 million console games, Australian games are recognised around the world. Of course, they’re not even registered by what (by name and description) should be our peak industry body locally.
In short, the situation is shameful. I deeply hope that there are moves to do something about this long term – either by engaging with the broader interactive community you claim to represent, or via a name change to something that makes less claims to represent all the interactive media professionals of Australia.
For the rest of Morgan's open letter, please click on the following link...