australias gaming industry going down the crappa

australia needs to pick up the qaulity of games that get developed we're falling behind the rest of the world we havent had a big game in years its sad im sick of hearing about other countries bring out games that are going to be the next big thing that will change the gaming world what is the problem cant anyone think of something origanal or something that will better a big title are we scared or something just because we dont have R rating isnt a excuse and if money is the problem how many of the development companys get royalties some of you are getting 1.4 mil in royalties and mobile and flash games arnt going to make you big or well nown how many of you pay attention to the companies intro's on you mobile when you play a game i played one about hour ago and i havent got a clue who developed it if australias going to pick its self up and dust of use your heads.

and all you developer ceo's or what ever you call your self i bet this isnt what you had in mind when you started your company what happened to your dreams come on jsut think back to when you first walked through the doors of your buildings i bet you had dreams of being the best instead what happened you floped and now your making apple apps, hadstet games and and flash games your younger selfves would laugh at you and i dont mean this to be personal

um if anyone wants to comment on this feel free and if you got upset by this email me it doesnt bother me i welcome you to

spazem_6@hotmail.com

Anonymous's picture

1.4 million in royalties is nothing compared to the cost of developing a complete console title.

Of course everyone wants to be making games as big and ambitious and successful as they possibly can, you need to pay staff though. You are Australian I take it? Then why not put down 10-20 million dollars of your own money to finance one of these projects you are calling for. I am going to guess the answer is you don't have that sort of money, and if you did it would be extremely risky to put it all on a single roll of the dice. So why would you think any of the owners of game companies are in a different position? The mere act of creating a business name doesn't make money start to fall off nearby trees.

There are plenty of Australian companies that have wasted the opportunities they did have, however many of those are because of trying to run before they could walk, which is what you are saying all companies should be doing.

Anonymous's picture

Wow. Simply amazing, why hadn't any of us realized this.

I really think you should formalize this into a full lecture for gcap this year. That way you can present it to all of us hopeless, talentless hacks, in person. Maybe even meet some of the CEOs who have been intentionally sabotaging games development in Australia for decades. I'm sure they will see you as the messiah and offer you their job so that you can implement your ideas.

In other words way to go!

I've never seen such a great way to instaneously alienate and insult an entire industry, whilst also demonstrating a complete disregard for cogent debate, grammar, spelling and punctuation.

We work because of our passion for games. Even CEOs could make more money doing other jobs. Please feel free to make sensible suggestions on how to improve our lot, but saying things are crap really isn't helping.

Anonymous's picture

I tired to read that, but couldn't. Not because it hurts too much, but because there was no punctuation. Would take too much effort to try and understand an opinion from someone who cares about his own opinion so little he couldn't bother to express it in a legible manner.

souri's picture

The original poster could have use some punctuation in his post, but please don't berate him constantly over that. I can understand what he's saying with little effort, so enough already.

To sum up it up - bigger triple A games need to be developed here, that's where the big bucks are and how Australia will be a bigger name in the industry, and that's how our industry will push forward.

My response is, Australia has had multiple chances on triple A games and unfortunately hasn't fared too well developing for this current-gen of consoles. In a lot of cases, it has been disastrous. There are many varied reasons for this, but in the end, massive budget triple-A games aren't Australia's forte.

We did pretty good on last gen and current handhelds, however, and considering the market and publisher shift towards DLC, apps, social gaming etc, we are the perfect fit to take advantage of that. Many developers indeed are and we have IronMonkey and Firemint at the absolute forefront of handheld development.

Don't get me wrong, it would be *great* if we could get a GTA IV-like hit out of here, that would do incredible wonders for the local games industry. However, when presented with the numbers behind a title like GTA IV, you'll understand that a title like that is simply not feasible here. 1000 people worked on GTA IV - what is the local dev population at the moment? Roughly over double that?

We are missing many things that would be vital to get more triple A games like that or a Modern Warfare 2 completed let alone even started here. A proven track record (metacritic scores do wonders. Publishers go soley by them so they'll expect to be impressed there before handing over the funding), government tax incentives, and talent. The local industry has had a well-known severe shortage of senior talent for years, but the situation is worse when you factor in the numerous closures in the last two years, and that there aren't even many places for the senior talent we do have that were laid off to even go.

In any case, budgets for triple-A games are getting enormous. Many have said that it won't be long before they become the realm of the top 3 or 4 publishers that are willing to bank on a select few chosen developers with safe I.Ps and sequels. It's already heading it's way there, with EA recently reported to have dropped a dozen original games, and concentrating on sequels instead.

Johnn's picture

I think the questions and sentiments of sparrowman_6 are that ones all of us have pondered previously. I certainly have and sadly I don't like the conclusions I regularly come to. We are a small fish in a big pond :(
I think dev companies here have often been set up for failure by overseas publishers who out source high risk projects to the lowest bidder and keep the 'easily picked cherries' closer to home. I am indeed implying that the power in the games industry is weilded by publishers. There is relatively little money in making content, the big bucks are in publishing. Armed with those thoughts I suggest a lack of a local publishing infrastructure is a major problem for forward growth.
There might be a bright horizon though! New distribution models are appearing such as Apples appStore. Whilst it is still owned/controlled by an overseas company the platform has proven so far to be a much more open/accessible market place for developers to utilize providing a more level playing field for us to compete on.

Anonymous's picture

I don't believe this is a real message. This is more likely a comedy genius pretending to be a naive and illegible idiot! They're just trolling Sumea to create lolz. You can't fool me!

Anonymous's picture

It's a little sad that people seem not to realise the amount of work that does actually get done here in Australia.

BlueTongue developed "de Blob", which was very well received. Sure, not all reviews were like this, but how many games ever achieve a single "100%" review? "de Blob" has 2 listed on Metacritic, and at least 1 more in a UK Nintendo magazine (sadly I can't remember which one).

We may not always do the entire game here, but Australians have been involved in plenty of AAA titles. These games are huge, so the work load is often spread across several teams.

2K Australia (or whatever they're called now) had a massive hand in the development of "BioShock" 1 & 2. To the best of my limited knowledge they're also spearheading the new "X-Com" game. EA Melbourne helped develop "Dead Space" and "The Godfather" games.

As for "mobile and flash games arnt going to make you big or well nown", Firemint and IronMonkey seem to be doing OK for themselves in the mobile market. You don't really need to be huge and well known, you just need to keep your company profitable and your employees looked after.

Back in the day it was a little easier for Aus developers. We had world class education, spoke English as our first language and our dollar was only worth around US50c. It's harder to get publishers to send projects over here now that our dollar is reaching parity. We're on the other side of the world and in a vastly different time zone. In many cases, the Aus game studios that are currently successful got their start back when things were slightly more forgiving.

Companies can't over-reach. Lots of people want to make a big hit game, but you need to establish a business first. Starting with small games (like flash, handheld and mobile) can bring you recognition and provide a much needed source of income. Maybe then you can look at making a bigger game.

AAA titles aren't really a way to start a company, they're an end goal. Even then, it's not necessarily a goal that every game developer has. There are plenty of worthwhile experiences that can be created in smaller scale games.

As always, if you think you can do better penny up and do so. Don't whine on a forum that no one else is paving the way.

Sideline: The new CAPTCHA question is like playing those old Sierra adventure games. So far it's taken me 3 tries, and I still can't guess the verb it wants.

Anonymous's picture

I only get the Captcha question when using IE, I'm using Firefox at the moment and the Captcha doesn't appear. o_O

As for smaller games (mobile, downloadable, flash, etc) I think there is a very good argument to be made that more companies should focus on them to build up design experience. I once heard a designer say that most good game designs should still work if you turn them into a board game, and it is sort of true.

Anonymous's picture

Basically what we need is teams of people who come up with a great idea. Have a big company see that the game has potential and fund it. Like how Portal worked. And as a previous poster said, DLC is going to be huge with Australian dev companies.

souri's picture

Yep, sorry about the Captcha issues... the previous captcha methods (bitmapped words and the recaptcha service) we used previously have both been skirted by spammers, so comment and member registration spam was getting through. Not a lot, but enough to get annoyed of.

I've placed a simple mathematics one method for the meantime, so hopefully that will prevent spam as well as be easy for people wanting to comment.

Of course, if you register and post whilst logged in, there is no captcha.

Anonymous's picture

Big Game = (Big Money + Big Team + Big Publisher + Big Talent) x 2

and we dont have it other than talent... even then, i think most of the talent would go to another country living the dream.

Anonymous's picture

The games industry in whole is slipping. I'm currently studying animation and have realised that a career in games development in Australia may never happen for me. I have come to the conclusion that I will most likely have to go over seas to get my first job. Its so unfortunate when there are so many talented people in Australia, but with the lack of support form the government, no 18+ rating and our dollar doing well against the us dollar, it has made it hard for aussie developers. I have heaps of great ideas for games and I sure that hundreds of people out there do also. But money is what stops every thing. Now that games are on one of the biggest forms of entertainment, the games being developed are for casual gamers. Games used to be for gamers but now they are designed for the casual gamer. I hate it. I have purchased one title this year for my PS3, red dead redemption and I was very disappointed with it. It will be going back to EB.I have got three games this year for my PC Just cause 2, bad company 2 and mass effect 2 , these are great games but still have that console casual gamer feel. What happened to great games created for gamers by gamers not just for the computer illiterate casual gamer who doesn't even know what they want. If I every win the lotto my winnings will definitely be going towards the development of a great original game, for gamers by gamers and it will never be released on a console.

Anonymous's picture

"...and it will never be released on a console."

and sadly if you're planning on developing games like the types you've mentioned it's very likely you'll lose that money. Pubs build to the common denominator. That's consoles. PC's are great (and my personal pref for gaming) but they aren't where the $'s are for those types of big budget games.

Anonymous's picture

sorry about the spelling and punctuation but i wasn't trying to insault anyone or alienate a industry i was simply just trying to say there must be another way to to go about it look at rockstar or bethesda how did they get to be so big look it up and again im not trying to insult anyone i cant stress that enough but look in to it and maybe take some Inspiration

Anonymous's picture

sure pc games are grate but if you ever do win lotto what kind of retribution do you think you'll get only releasing it on pc. Console's are the leads for playing games and are becoming more like pc's in many ways and most of the serious gamers that started on pc's are making the leap to consoles be cause the offering more in variaty and are slighty cheaper. have you looked are the cost of running a good pc now to get the game play that you get out of a console for a pc to have that game play you need a good video card and a good one can cost you from $250 to $650 and a decent amount of ram mostly 2 gig or higher and people go towards consoles because its cheaper and you run a lower risk of getting a virus. so please dont take this dont take this as a personal attack im not trying to make it one like most people think i do

sparrowman_6's picture

that was me

sparrowman_6's picture

that was mine above to the sure pc games are great and sorry about spelling great wrong

Anonymous's picture

oh year and itsnot up to the develoipers to find the cash its the publishers that have to find the money and accept a worthy game

Anonymous's picture

Go away.

Anonymous's picture

To be honest big publishers will not invest here because the Aussie Dollar is doing well compared to the US Dollar - no big publisher will invest in large console projects here.

Ok, what's good about the industry here? We rule the mobile markets... There are a lot of mobile companies doing extremely well here and that is the future of the Australian games industry. Very simple really :)

Anonymous's picture

I feel dumber for having read this.

"sure pc games are grate"

Just genius. You should apply to google for a job.

Anonymous's picture

Just wanted to reply to this " EA Melbourne helped develop "Dead Space" and "The Godfather" games ".

Dude, I worked as an artist on those games here in the Redwood Shores HQ, and I can tell you, EA Melbourne did sweet fuck all. Accepting credit for helping, completely offends me given what the developers who ACTUALLY DEVELOPED these games went through to ship these games. You honestly have so little idea.

Anonymous's picture

Um, Team Bondi? Anyone?

Besides, the Australian industry is doing great at the moment with what it's had to deal with. As mentioned above there is also 2k on the homefront. Does anyone understand that value in an iphone game turnover? Look at the guys at Halfbrick, they're doing wonderful things with their internships and they've really thought out the structure of their games. You can pump out a quality game on the iphone or android in weeks, sometimes even days (Gamejam). Larger console titles require huge budgets and a lot of pressure on staff.
The R+ rating issue is also a huge thing and something you can't just take lightly. Imagine making an amazing game then not being able to release it in your home country?

Someone that bought 4 games last year can hardly complain about supporting an industry they know nothing about.

Anonymous's picture

Maybe a glimmer of hope for the local industry. A group of students from Brisbane caught Epic Games' attention with their final year uni game project. Their game was awarded best indie UDK game of 2010 by IndieDB and Epic is flying the group of students to meet the Epic team and present their game to Epic.

http://www.epicgames.com/news/indiedb-announces-best-udk-game-for-indie-...

Anonymous's picture

May I point out that (if you are an Australian yourself, Anon), you spelt 'realize' incorrectly. It's "realise".