Australia’s game development sector is sinking at an alarming rate, if new data is to be believed.
A study undertaken by the Interactive Skills Integration Scheme (ISIS) claims that Australia presently has 931 full-time game developers across 126 studios.
That, if accurate, could represent a contraction of over 50 percent since 2008.
Research undertaken in 2008 suggested the Australian industry had over 2,000 full-time employees, Gamespot reports.
That previous workforce was counted at far fewer studios – no more than fifty – suggesting Australia’s development sector has moved away from the big studio model.
ISIS is an initiative funded by the Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and supported by both the NSW and Victorian state governments.
The biggest loss to the Australian game sector, in terms f headcount, is the protracted collapse of indie studio Krome. That studio was thought to have as many as 300 staff, though now appears to have less than fifty.
ISIS project director, Justin Brow, said the business model for the Australian games industry “has been thrown out the window”.
“No one works for hire any more," he said.
"Our industry has gone downhill for a number of reasons, but mostly, in my opinion, because we didn't invest enough into developing our own IP. So when big overseas publishers turned around and said they had no more games to make, because they were giving the work to their internal teams or to countries like Canada and China, the Aussie development industry was hit hard.”