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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.

Unlock the infinite opportunities in the Australian digital games industry where you can find your team and score with access to: 

  • a vast talent pool
  • a growing ecosystem of studios and centres of creative excellence
  • a refundable tax offset of 30% for games development of more than $A500,000, and
  • strong IP protection, giving you and your investors confidence in ROI.

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

‘I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the greatest studios all over the world. The level of talent and, perhaps even more important, imagination that I’ve seen amongst the video game community in Australia is wholly unique. It’s partly what drew me to work with Summerfall Studios. I want to partner with those collaborators who choose to view as opportunity what others call impossible.’

– Troy Baker, actor/director

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 Sledgehammer Games, Keyword Studios, 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 House House, an independent studio based in Melbourne, Victoria, 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 and BAFTA Award for Best Family Game.

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.

"Never have I seen a community of young developers not only incredibly interested in supporting each other, but truly eager to be a part of a rapidly growing industry. Their vibrancy and dedication is a big part of why it's so exciting to be in Australian game dev right now."  – David Gaider, Creative Director, Summerfall Studios

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.

‘The Australian game development community is vibrant, creative, passionate and talented. We are making great games for players all over the world.’

–Ty Carey, Co-Founder, League of Geeks. 

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.

‘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 

 

Australian-made games include:

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.

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

Photo of Caroline Pitcher, CEO of Film Victoria
We are full of incredible, professional and innovative games development people here in Australia. We work collaboratively with the federal government to bring in senior talent as well on an expedited visa process. And the [state] incentives I believe complement the 30 per cent tax offset that the federal government is giving. The states are providing up to 10 per cent on top of the 30 per cent offset … so that is a 40 per cent opportunity for internationals to come and invest in our country. And that is a phenomenal offer from all governments combined. It’s about uniting together to build a national industry that’s going to be here for the indefinite future and provide skilled jobs for generations to come.
Caroline Pitcher
CEO, Film Victoria

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 based in in Melbourne, and the Australian Game Developer Awards. 

‘The Australian digital game development scene is in a league of its own. It's a wildly talented, intensely supportive, and admirably collaborative industry that's consistently making games that garner international acclaim and attention.'

– Alanah Pearce, Writer/Producer & Charity Streamer

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 educators, this event is not to be missed. It’s next on from 2 to 10 October 2021. Melbourne is also home to the world-renowned ultimate gaming expo Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). PAX Australia is the largest digital games consumer event in the Southern Hemisphere and the only PAX event held outside of the United States. 

’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.

Factsheet

Australia’s digital games ecosystems

Recent arrivals

Photo of Franco Gustin
Margarita Torres and Juan Pablo Reyes