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The origins of Australian Developers

Posted by souri on Thu, 09/08/07 - 2:54 PM

I find it fascinating how local developers began, and I'm thinking of doing some article in the near future about just that (I'll also be doing it in conjunction with how developers came up with their name). But anyway, the recent interview I did with Firemint sparked more interest again when CEO, Rob Murray, said that he was previously at Torus before starting up his own studio.

It seems the origins of numerous local developers were seeded from other established companies, and yeh, this happens a lot in many industries. Another example is id software and all the companies around Dallas that sprouted from ex-id employees. But as far as I know, we have people who moved from and then built:

Torus -> Firemint

Blue Tongue / Melbourne House -> Red Tribe

Auran -> Pandemic

Microforte -> Interzone ?

I know many other Melbourne companies have their roots from Beam / Melbourne House, although I can't recall which ones..

Anyone have more to add to the list?

Submitted by Red 5 on Mon, 13/08/07 - 11:03 AM Permalink

Yeah I think in Melbourne at least, Beam was the hub from which many of the others emerged - Torus for instance, then there has been several companies emerge from Torus.

You can often pinpoint a particular studio in an area that was responsible for many other studios forming in the same area - a good example is Psygnosis in the UK's North West... and now this whole area is the world hub for racing game development - so not only are people breaking away and starting new companies, they're often developing games in the same genre they're used to.

Submitted by Brawsome on Mon, 13/08/07 - 1:19 PM Permalink

I love this kind of stuff too. I had no idea that Rob Murray was at Torus, before I was there though.

Apart from the ones already said, these are the ones I know of:

Beam -> Tantalus

Torus -> End Game

Interactive Binary Illusions -> Krome

You could almost do a games industry family tree, showing the evolution of each games companies, with links to their wiki.

So at the moment we have (sorry if the formatting is off):

                        _ Firemint

           _ Torus -|_ End Game


Beam -|_ Tantalus

Blue Tongue / Melbourne House -> Red Tribe

Auran -> Pandemic

Microforte -> Interzone ?

Interactive Binary Illusions -> Krome

I'm sure there are more links in there. Might have to fill it in gradually. But the difficult part is where Krome links back into Melbourne House and Ratbag.chameleon2007-08-13 03:21:33

Submitted by rezn0r on Tue, 14/08/07 - 2:09 AM Permalink

Evolution - Halfbrick Studios

          - THQ Studio Oz


Submitted by Red 5 on Tue, 14/08/07 - 4:51 AM Permalink

A few more...

Torus > Virtual Mechanix

Torus > Dimsdale & Kreozot

Beam > Torus > Wicked Witch

Beam > Torus > Firelight Technologies

Many from IR Gurus also have their roots from Beam or Torus.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 14/08/07 - 8:08 PM Permalink

Wasn't Brett from Firelight at Tantalus at some stage? But yeh, I didn't know that Torus spawned off so many studios!Souri2007-08-14 10:09:06

Submitted by Brawsome on Wed, 15/08/07 - 1:23 AM Permalink

Since Torus has spawned more games companies than just about any other (maybe Beam would beat them). I think this poses the question: Why does Torus attract or create so many entrepreneurs?

Submitted by Red 5 on Wed, 15/08/07 - 1:50 AM Permalink

[QUOTE=chameleon]I think this poses the question: Why does Torus attract or create so many entrepreneurs?[/QUOTE]

Maybe you need to rephrase the question to: Why did these people leave?

Like any work place, most people are content work as employees and favour job security over potential risk... just so happens that during that period (late 90's) there were a number of staff who had ambitions of starting their own businesses.

I think it's probably a little more daunting now, but at the same time there are more potential opportunities.