Australia holds firm against recession, says GDAA

Australia holds firm against recession, says GDAA

By Rob Crossley

June 15th 2009 at 1:26PM

Games Developers Association Australia president touts favourable exchange rate and the regionâ??s lucrative push to casual games

While Australia’s development sector has on several occasions fallen victim to the global economic recession, the region still has many assets in its favour.

Tom Crago, president of the Games Developers Association of Australia, believes that the nation is becoming more alluring of the global development community for two clear reasons.

"Firstly, we have had a win with the exchange rate,” he told the The Sydney Morning Herald. “When (publishers) come to work in Australia they're able to get more game for the same money.”

The closure of Pandemic’s Brisbane studio earlier this year was cited, by Crago, as evidence of the fact that Australia is being hit by hard times like the rest of the word. Yet the industry “has always been very volatile”, he said, and believes Australia has emerged in a strong position after the global financial meltdown in 2008.

Key to Australia’s success is its focus on the extended audience.

“A lot of Australian developers have a focus on family-type titles,” said Crago, “and certainly there are a number of developers who have built a good reputation on Nintendo platforms. We're in a market where more than 50 per cent of all games sold are sold on Nintendo platforms. Given our strengths there, and in that casual and family space, I do think we're in a pretty reasonable position."

Standout games in the region include THQ’s de Blob, and Krome’s Scene It: Box Office Smash and the PS2, PSP and Wii edition of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Click here to read Develop’s recent interview with Krome CEO Robert Walsh.