Over 700 People Work In The Australian Games Industry, Study Finds

Image: Game Dev Tycoon

There's been a lot of talk locally about what the federal government can do - and more importantly, what it hasn't done - to support the games industry. But as part of that conversation, an interesting figure has emerged: namely, the amount of people employed in the Aussie games sector.

In a release today, the Game Developers Association of Australia called on the federal government to revive - or create a new version of - the Australian Interactive Games Fund. The call stemmed from a release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday, which showed that total income from the Aussie games industry had jumped 24% to $111.1 million from 2011-12 to 2015-16.

The ABS report didn't just cover the games industry: it also looked at film, commercial free-to-air broadcasters, production companies, the whole shebang. But it also broke down precisely how many people work in games, which gives me an excuse to republish this cute pie graph.

(If you're reading this on mobile, let me know if the pie graph buggers up there. I've got a straight image of it, just in case.)

Other fun facts:

  • Expenses for the Aussie games industry only jumped from $80.1 million in 2011-12 to $86.6 million in 2015-16, showing the industry has become markedly more profitable;
  • The value added from the local gaming industry to the Australian economy has jumped from $71.6 million in 2011-12 to $93.8 million;
  • While the amount of people employed has risen from 581 to 734, the number of businesses has fallen from 84 to 80

Unsurprisingly, the GDAA used the results as a platform to encourage the federal government to reconsider support for the sector. "We’ve shown that an investment in the games sector provides a significant return on investment to the Australian taxpayer. It’s time to talk about a new support model because we’re quite happy to do it again," Antony Reed, CEO of the GDAA, argued.

You can read the rest of the results over on Screen Australia's website.


    The pie graph isn't working on my desktop computer.

    Only 700 people? I thought it would be way more. We have 43 people alone in the company that are allocated to games pre-production. (Scripting, poly modeling, concept art, texture design, production).

    Hmm, that number feels low to me, since there's 30ish people where I work, and I know quite a few other developers around Adelaide. That said, we're easily the biggest in the state and I have no idea what the scene is like outside of SA and Melbourne.

    There's no way a viable games industry can be maintained with only 700 employees across all of Australia. 700 total jobs, presumably minus admin, finance and other non-core roles, simply doesn't leave enough opportunity for career progression, mobility and flexibility as would enable mid-careeists to survive and continue to be promoted through boom and bust cycles without being forced to take employment outside the industry at multiple points in their career.

    If they counted Indies it might be slightly higher, but that's a real catch 22...due to not really having an income directly made from a game during development.

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