Australia really still does have a video game industry, though it’s been in decline in recent times. The industry employed 581 people at the end of June last year, according to the latest figures from the Australia Bureau of Statistics, published yesterday – down from 1431 several years ago.
These businesses generated $89.4 million in revenue in the latest year. That was down from $137 million in 2006-7.
During the year Aussie developers produced 245 games and incurred $49.9 million in related production costs.
Games produced exclusively for consoles like Sony’s PlayStation or Microsoft’s Xbox incurred the highest average cost per production at $1.2 million.
By contrast, games developed exclusively for mobile and Web platforms had the lowest average cost per production at $74,000. Stats adds that these figures exclude titles developed simultaneously for multiple platforms, which incurred an average cost of $845,800 per production.
While games making has languished, the film and TV business has continued to flourish. The ABS survey also showed that income generated by film and video production businesses increased from $1.6 billion in 2006-07 to $2.2 billion in 2011-12.
Despite its decline in numbers the Aussie video game industry has scored a $6 million injection from Screen Australia, a federal government agency set up to support Australian film, television, documentary and digital media makers.
Ten companies will split the money over the next three years. They are Defiant Development (Qld); ODD Games (SA); Soap Creative (NSW); Tantalus Media, Tin Man Games, Torus Games, Voxel Agents, Twitch and Wicked Witch Software (Vic); and Uppercut Games (NSW/ACT).
“The successful companies represent a diverse range of Australian game studios, from start up companies to larger developers. Funding will ensure an expansion in the workforce, allowing smaller developers to gain critical mass and larger developers to shift from a reliance on work for hire to developing original projects,” said COO Fiona Cameron.