The way forward for Australia's games developers


We are at the turning point of becoming a self sustainable industry, according to Sebastien Darchen, a lecturer in planning at the University of Queensland. In an article written for, Darchen covers the emergence of the Australian games industry in the 80's, its rapid growth at the turn of the century, and the contributing factors for its decline in the past few years. He then asks "where to from here?".

The Australian games industry has seen a sizeable shift towards independent mobile games development and original IP, and Government incentives have noticebly been spurring activity in that area with both Multimedia Victoria and The State of Queensland focussing less on attracting large overseas studios and more on pushing and monetizing original content, especially towards emerging markets. From a QLD government ICT business advisor...

“The attraction of large studios won’t be our main focus … we see the mobile [games for mobile devices] as the way forward … we are also starting to look at the Asian market [Korea, China] … why not try to swap IPs from one country to another, take a successful Australian mobile phone game and ‘Koreanise’ it for the Korean market?”

And that seems to be the way forward for the local industry, and it is a path already taken by one of Australia's leading developers, Halfbrick Studios, who considers China as "our number one market going forward". 30 percent of Fruit Ninja's total downloads (aproximately 20 million) come from China, says Halfbrick CEO, Shainiel Deo. The Brisbane studio teamed up with iDreamsky to bring a localised and specialised Fruit Ninja to the Android platform through iDreamsky's 200 distribution channels.

Darchen sees the Asian markets as one of Australia's strengths in many areas of games development, and suggests it as a wildly untapped source for future opportunities...

The Australian game industry should “play” with its strengths (local talent, proximity to the Asian market, expertise in online gaming and mobile games, competitive university programs in computer programs, etcetera).

It needs to make the move from being a “contender” to being an international hub for the video game industry.

For the full article, head on over to


NathanRunge's picture

I'm actually somewhat surprised to see this appear here now, having already seen the debates about the matter occur for some time in various circles, including the IGDA, academic groups and DLF.

souri's picture

I haven't come across it before and only just saw the republished article at Delimiter from just over a week ago.