Digital games

Victoria is home to 47% of Australia's digital games industry which includes 103 studios. On top of this there are further support services; animation, MOCAP, Publishing and PR that support this creative industry.

Melbourne is home to the Game Developers' Association of Australia (GDAA) and The Arcade, Australia's only not-for-profit collaborative co-working space specifically for the digital games industry. The Arcade currently houses over 25 games companies employing over 80 staff working on products for entertainment, serious games and solving non-entertainment problems through gamification. The Arcade houses a gamification workshop space encouraging projects from non-entertainment industries to leverage games methodologies, technologies and psychologies.

The high calibre work produced in Victorian studios often results in best-selling games and award winning animations in film productions. Some recent successes include Firemonkey's Flight Control and Real Racing 3, Hipster Whale's Crossy Road and Mighty Games' Shooty Skies. The latter two studios are based in The Arcade. 

Victoria is also home to service and middleware providers to games development studios. These providers also service the entertainment, education, e-health and simulation sectors, and include the internationally recognised FMOD-creators, Firelight Technologies, as well Deakin University's Motion.Lab, one of the southern hemisphere's largest motion capture facilities.

Australian independent games publisher Surprise Attack and specialist digital games PR agency Lumi Consulting are both based out of The Arcade in Melbourne, providing advice and support to Australia's growing digital games industry. 

Video: The Arcade, Melbourne: a shared co-working space focused on games development and creative organisations 

A magnet for skilled graduates, serious institutional players

Melbourne has a history of success in games development. Nearly half of the Australian game development industry is in Melbourne, as are the headquarters of the Game Developers' Association of Australia (GDAA) and Australia's Digital Games hub, The Arcade. The Arcade is a not for profit co-working space for Australia's digital games community based in Melbourne which houses a gamification workshop space encouraging projects from non-entertainment industries to leverage games methodologies, technologies and psychologies. The Arcade currently houses over 25 games companies employing over 80 staff. 

The originality and outstanding skills of local artists, developers, writers, musicians, and designers make Melbourne the games centre of the nation, able to satisfy a global market's thirst for new games. Creative talent and new projects from all around the world are attracted by the sector's critical mass and reputation.

Keeping the talent pipe brimming

Helping to sustain the skilfulness of developers, and capitalising on the sector's long experience in developing games (starting in 1982), over 20 Melbourne tertiary institutions offer around 30 different courses related to games development.

They include these world-class universities:

Victoria produces 1000 graduates a year from 29 games-related courses delivered from 20 academic institutions in the state. Courses include programming, animation, multimedia design, digital art, and design.  Melbourne also leads Australia with the number of graduates in information and communications technology (ICT).

Two internationally respected specialist games schools

Melbourne is home to two internationally significant private academies specialising in games development and design. The multi award-winning Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) is the world's second oldest specialist games and 3D graphics educator. Also in Melbourne is Qantm College, a leading world educator in the creative media industries with 53 campuses in 27 countries.1

Government support

Film Victoria also supports games marketing through grant assistance. Since December 2010, the Victorian Government has provided over A$4 million in investment and marketing support to the digital games industry.

Melbourne International Games Week and PAX AUS

From 23 October to 1 November, 2015 Melbourne will host Asia Pacific's largest digital games event for entertainment, serious games and gamification – Melbourne International Games Week (MIGW).

MIGW links a range of business, education and entertainment games events. Highlights include a Microsoft Hackathon hosted at Swinburne University; an education in games summit, A Gameful World, in conjunction with the Department of Education and Training; the culmination of the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge; developers party MegaDev3; and Unity's Australian conference, Unite Melbourne15.

MIGW will bring together developers, publishers and investors for Game Connect Asia Pacific, the region's biggest industry development and networking event; and rounds off with PAX AUS, the mammoth consumer expo for game enthusiasts and the only PAX event outside of the US.

Victoria recently secured the PAX AUS until 2019 - the only PAX outside the US to host the event.  In 2014 PAX AUS hosted over 50,000 games enthusiasts at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.  This event was the climax of the Melbourne International Games week which brought together various events across digital games.  Melbourne International Games week takes place across the last week of October and includes Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP), the peak industry event for the region.

Victoria's ICT sector strength

Enhancing the technical needs of the digital games sector is Victoria's large ICT industry with its workforce of nearly 100,000 people.3 Victoria benefits from a cost-competitive business environment, a transparent regulatory regime, supportive government, world-class infrastructure, and some of the world's most comprehensive intellectual property laws.

Victoria's creative talent lures foreign investors

Melbourne is also home to significant inward investors such as Kixeye and Electronic Arts (US) and Gree (Japan). In fact EA's largest mobile development studio is based in Melbourne's city centre where this studio leverages Victoria's creative talent to deliver landmark games like Sims Freeplay, Need for Speed - Most Wanted and Real Racing 3.

Sources:
1.  Qantm
2.  Competitive Alternatives KPMG's Guide to International Business Location Costs, 2014 Edition
3.  State Government of Victoria - Business Victoria