The Australian government doesn't have a great reputation when it comes to supporting the video game industry. One person who's recently visited local politicians to change that is Jayson Hilchie, the president and chief executive of ESA Canada.
Canada's video game industry is one of the largest in the world, generating around $CA3.7 billion for Canada's GDP and employing tens of thousands of people. So to help our government understand the benefits of supporting developers, Hilchie has been on a speaking tour over the last week, sharing his knowledge and experience.
The Australian games industry is pretty accustomed to working with a federal government that, for the most part, doesn't quite get it. That disappointment and apathy came through in the recent response to the upper house inquiry into video games, with developers and industry frustrated over the government's refusal to outwardly support a growing sector.
As part of that tour, Hilchie (along with IGEA CEO Ron Curry) kindly stopped by the Kotaku Australia offices for a quick interview about how those talks have gone. Along with what the initial response from politicians has been, we also spoke about the similarities between Australia and Canada, how the two countries fare in terms of STEM education, esports, the impact of immigration law on game development, how the video game industry came to be in Canada, and what Hilchie thought about (at the time) the upcoming talks between the video game industry and the Trump administration.
Side note: Midway through the podcast, I referenced an instance where developer Dean Hall was having issues with New Zealand immigration when it came to starting up a studio. At the time, Hall stated publicly that New Zealand immigration wanted him to pay overseas graduates more than local graduates. You can read more about that here.