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Digital games

Your mission: embark on a journey to a universe where you can craft your own worlds, create fantastic creatures and characters, and tell your story, your way.

Digital soilder

Unlock the infinite opportunities in the Australian digital games industry which you can access: 

  • a vast talent pool
  • a growing ecosystem of studios and centres of creative excellence, and 
  • a refundable tax offset of 30% for games development of more than $A500,000.

Creators are also attracted by Australia’s strong IP protection, giving studios and their investors’ confidence in their ROI

‘Australia is a great place to make video games’
– Andy Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Sledgehammer Games

Level Up

Australian-made games are rocketing to the top of global sales charts, winning major industry awards and grabbing headlines. We’re a powerful magnet for renowned global games companies, attracting industry heavyweights like Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Wargaming and Gameloft.

Most of Australia’s games companies are independent studios creating original IP and benefiting from the huge global demand driving a steady pipeline of work on licensed properties, ‘work for hire’ projects and multi-studio collaborations.

In 2021, one out of every ten games on Apple’s new Apple Arcade video game platform was made in either Australia or New Zealand. 

Australian games development studios are perfectly placed to support a 24-hour continuous development cycle. Our time zone means we keep development going while North America and Europe are asleep. 

 

Hollow Knight game
Hollow Knight gameplay

Made by Victorian studio House House, Untitled Goose Game was arguably the world’s most talked-about video game in 2020, selling over a million copies in its first three months and winning a suite of major international awards including DICE Game of the Year.

Australians are passionate gamers and there’s a buzzing domestic market. In 2019 we spent A$3.6 billion on games, making us the ideal test market.
 
Recently, several games companies have raised capital for expansion. Playside and Mighty Kingdom have listed on the ASX. Melbourne-based firm Zero Latency raised A$7 million in a pre-IPO funding round to expand its VR games portfolio.

 

Australian game development studios in 2019–20

  • increased revenue 29%
  • grew subscription revenue by 28%
  • 78% developing their own IP
  • 76% stable or increased revenue

Outstanding local games talent

Our success in digital games is driven by a highly educated and experienced workforce that offers the perfect blend of tech, creative and commercial skills. We’re home to thousands of digital games professionals, graduates and students ready to launch their careers. This English-speaking workforce is multicultural, multilingual and globally connected, and our digital game developers are recognised worldwide for their talent, innovation and work ethic.

Our renowned education and training system nurtures local talent – everyone from developers, producers and engineers to designers and other creatives. 

There are more than 3,000 skilled games graduates each year. Specialised games development tertiary institutions teach programming, digital art, 3D modelling, animation and audio engineering, while many of our top-ranking universities also offer creative arts and technology courses with a specific digital games focus. 

Studios can also draw from the hundreds of highly experienced and accomplished expatriate game developers currently working overseas who are increasingly choosing to return home.

 

Beyond games

Australia has strong capability in a host of complementary fields. Locals working in world-leading animation and VFX industries help deepen our rich talent pool of animators and graphics engineers and other industries which employ gamification.

‘We have managed to find an incredible number of skilled engineers very quickly in Australia. For our industry, this is not very common. There’s also a lot of movie industry talent so we’re seeing success with some disciplines such as visual effects, where there’s often a transferable skill set.’

– Andy Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Sledgehammer Games

Both private companies and government agencies are creating and applying games-related technologies. Award-winning Australian AR/VR includes Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail 3D visualisation technology. And at the CSIRO’s Data61, researchers are using AI and gamification to diagnose potential mental health disorders
 

Video game characters

 

Connected and collaborative games industry

The sector’s cooperative and lively spirit is embodied by The Arcade in Melbourne, where more than 20 game development and creative companies work side-by-side in a not-for-profit, collaborative workspace. The Arcade is operated by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, which also provides practical support and networking opportunities for the local industry, including through the flagship Games Connect Asia Pacific professional conference and the Australian Game Developer Awards. 

In Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra, the collaborative Game Plus workspaces also bring together game developers and related tech startups, while in Brisbane, Screen Queensland operates the SQhub co-working space for screen creatives including game developers. 

Melbourne International Games Week is the largest digital games celebration in the Asia Pacific. Featuring conferences, events and activities for the games industry, games enthusiasts, general public and educationalists, this event is not to be missed. It’s next on from 2 to 10 October 2021. 

’We are enjoying being part of Australia’s vibrant video games scene.’

– Margarita Torres and Juan Pablo Reyes, from Colombia, now based in Melbourne 

A suite of incentives

Governments at the national and state levels offer a suite of attractive business and investment support programs. These include the R&D tax incentive for fundamental technological advancements. And, from mid-2022, the Australian Government’s newly announced 30% tax offset for digital games expenditure.

Hornet from the Hollow Knight game
Hornet from Hollow Knight

Australian made games include:

  • Florence
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Moving Out
  • Framed
  • Hollow Knight
  • Crossy Road
  • La Noire
  • Torque drift