Over at InvestorTV there's an extremely eye-opening talk with some of Australia's most prominent game developers. Included in the all-local mix are Tony Hilliam, CEO of Auran; Tom Crago, CEO of Tantalus and Krome Studios' CEO Robert Walsh. While Hilliam gets stuck explaining the downfall of Auran, Tom and Robert go over the positives of games development in Oz.
The first part of the interview sees Hilliam deconstruct the failure of Fury, citing poor sales in the US and Europe and the sheer size of World of Warcraft as contributing factors:
"Ultimately, sales of Fury were worse than our low case projections. We did OK in Australia, we were top 10 in Australia, but Europe was a complete write-off. In the US – again the Australian sales have nearly outstripped the US market altogether. When Australia is almost your biggest market, you have a problem."
It's not all rotten, though. Tom Crago paints a more alluring picture of the local development scene:
“I think the game development industry in Australia is in a great place in terms of the growth we’ve enjoyed,” said Crago. “Revenue-wise we’re in excess of $130 million.”
Understandably Hilliam doesn't completely agree with Crago's outlook. In fact, he's quick to direct developers away from our sunny shores:
“I’ve spent a lot of time in China and once they … they’re very good at copying things at the moment and I think once they get a bit more creative, they’re really going to be a force to reckon with.
“Asia and Eastern Europe are going to replace Australia as an outsourcing post. I don’t see a lot of confidence in seeing the thing grow and grow as it has done in the last 10 years.”
Ah man, Tony, why do you have to go and be so down on Oz?
Don't worry, there's more to the chat than Hilliam's negativity, so be sure to check out the InvestorTV link for the entire article.
Boom or gloom for battle-hardened video game studios [InvestorTV, via Sumea]