How do you define 'success'? Well, if you're a government body thinking about funding video games, about aiding growth, creating sustainable jobs — all that good stuff — this is what a successful Australian video game studio looks like.
As part of Senator Ludlam's inquiry into the Australian games industry, Brisbane based studio Defiant Development tabled some pretty eye-opening information. These graphs essentially chart the four year growth of one small studio from a small three man team to a fully-fledged studio with almost 20 gainfully employed game developers.
There's a lot of interesting info to parse here. First: the transition from work-for-hire to the creation of brand new IP. Defiant Development released Hand of Fate last year, which was obviously successful, but even before that Defiant's growth was headed in a positive, sustainable direction.
According to Morgan Jaffit, co-founder of Defiant Development, these graphs were submitted to show how beneficial government support can be to Australian studios like Defiant. Morgan and his co-founders received a small amount of government funding in the beginning phase of Defiant Development and we're now seeing the results of that early investment.
Interestingly — a massive, massive amount of Defiant's revenue is coming from overseas.
Again, success takes many forms, and doesn't necessarily need to mean commercial success, but if the Australian industry wants to receive more government funding success of this kind needs to be demonstrable — and it is demonstrable.
Such a fascinating insight into how quickly a video game studio can grow if given a little push in the beginning.