The NSW government has just announced that it will be helping fund a new wave of digital content creations in Australia, utilising funds from the $3 million strong Interactive Media Fund. Among the recepients are Halfbrick, who are in the process of opening a new studio in Sydney, and Nnooo — the creators of the critically acclaimed Escape Vektor.
The NSW government expects that the money will help Halfbrick and others create the next wave of successful Australian developed games.
“The worldwide gaming phenomenon Fruit Ninja will now grow even bigger with a new project to be led by a recently-formed Sydney team of the top Australian games developer Halfbrick Studios,” Mr Stoner said.
“Sydney-based developer Aidan Millott and colleague Dale Freya are currently hiring a new team of talented games developers for the new Halfbrick Sydney studio. “The new Sydney team will develop the next evolution of the Fruit Ninja games franchise. The new game will involve players launching a series of fruit to knock ninjas off their towers in a 3D world, with each fruit having special powers.
“The game, due out in 2012, will initially be developed for Apple’s iOS mobile operating system but will later be provided for other platforms including Android.”
The fund will also aid Nnooo finish off their current projects, which include 3DS augmented reality title Spirit Hunters.
The Interactive Media Fund will provide funding over the next three years to help support the growing digital sector in Australia.
“This fund will help NSW build its share of the high-value digital games sector which will be increasingly important in developing serious business and education tools, as well as entertainment games like the latest Fruit Ninja project,” Mr Stoner said.
“The global digital games market is expected to more than double to $53 billion by 2016 and mobile gaming to triple to $17.5 billion.”
2011 has been a difficult year for the local games industry, but this is great news for local developers and is hopefully proof that local government is aware of the growth potential of gaming.