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Who Needs a Games Industry?

#region Rant

using Feelings.Disappointment;
using Feelings.Rage;
using Facts;
Indulging you, our dear readers, in a bit of local news for a change: the Australian government has recently published their budget for 2014 indicating the winning and losing industries for the years ahead. And nestled near the back, hiding timidly like a neglected child, is the footnote mentioning that the remaining $10M in the Australian Interactive Games Fund (the only government program for funding games development) has been removed. This makes us mad, and sad.
Only a few months back, our government announced a $12.4 billion plan to purchase 58 new F-35 fighter jets. Now, defence spending is important (particularly in this post-war age when the next global conflict will most likely be battled out in the cloud), but not at the expense of so many other, more seminal industries like health and education (both of which have been damaged in the budgeting process too). But the decision to remove the only government support for the gaming industry, one of the fastest growing and largest industries of the 21st Century, is astounding. In fact:”No other sector has experienced the same explosive growth as the computer and video game industry. Our creative publishers and talented workforce continue to accelerate advancement and pioneer new products that push boundaries and unlock entertainment experiences. These innovations in turn drive enhanced player connectivity, fuel demand for our products, and encourage the progression of an expanding and diversified consumer base.”
– Micheal D. Gallagher, CEO @ Entertainment Software Association

Here at Chaos Theory, we want to see the games industry flourish in our own country more than anything! Instead, we meet students who are being subdued by the notion that any aspiring game developer born on these sunny shores must emigrate to stand a chance at being successful. We meet designers on a daily basis who desperately want to work on games, but can’t see any hope of earning a living from it, and subsequently shy away from the risk. After the Australian Team Bondi closed down after L.A. Noire was launched (following massive HR problems with publisher Rockstar), the number of registered game developers in ALL OF AUSTRALIA dropped below 1,000. That just ain’t right.
Hopefully the indie success stories like Halfbrick (of Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride fame) or the bigger studios like 2K Australia will internetwork or begin fostering a development industry to be proud of, one where our graduating doe-eyed programmers don’t have to pack their bags to follow their dreams.

As for us, well it looks like we’ll be making mobile games for a while!
#endregion
About James
I’m deeply passionate about the promoting and developing the social, educational, and creative potential of games. Through my work at Chaos Theory, I have only just started a journey to doing exactly that.
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