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International Factfile 2015: Australia - MCV

International Factfile 2015: Australia

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Australia has long been notorious for the costly price of games.

A report from the government House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee found that of 20 recent titles, only one was priced close to its American counterpart, with the rest costing anywhere between 40 and 90 per cent more.

Digital was hit even harder; some Steam titles had price tags two to three times bigger than in the US.

The commission hypothesised that the relative difficulty of distribution and addition of sales tax could be reasons for the disparity.

Another point of contention is the region's censorship laws. Until late 2012, no R18+ rating existed, meaning any game exceeding MA15+ would be refused classification and effectively banned from sale.

Despite the introduction of R18+, some games deemed to be excessive in their depiction of explicit content can still be outlawed.

In addition to this, Grand Theft Auto V was pulled from Target and Kmart shelves late last year, in response to a consumer petition signed by over 40,000 people.

Triple-A studios have struggled in Australia. BioShock 2 developer 2K Australia was the last blockbuster studio in the region, but that closed this month.

Despite this, independent and mobile firms have flourished; one example is Brisbane-based Halfbrick Studios, which created iOS hit Fruit Ninja.

The region's Labor government established a $20 million initiative titled the Australia Games Fund in 2012, which aimed to grow the country's games development sector over three years.

However, the fund was brought to a premature end in mid-2014, with $10 million left unspent.

Population: 23,810,800

Capital City: Canberra

Currency: Australian dollar

GDP (Per Capita): $62,822

KEY RETAILERS

EB Games, JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith, Kmart, Big W, Target, Harvey Norman, Dungeon Crawl,Gametraders.

TOP DISTRIBUTORS

Bandai Namco, All Interactive, Home Entertainment Suppliers, Turn Left, QV Software, Five Star Games, Mindscape Asia Pacific.

TOP DEVELOPERS

Firemonkeys, Halfbrick Studios, Big Ant Studios, Tantalus Media, Panther Games

PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION

Rockstar, Riot, Bethesda, Bandai Namco, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Sony, Activision-Blizzard, 2K Games, Tru Blu Entertainment, Wargaming, Warner Bros. Interactive

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