We already knew that some of Australia's more prominent studios were contributing to Apple's new gaming subscription — most Aussie developers are mobile-focused, and Aussie games have done very well on iOS over the years — but the real surprise from today's Apple Arcade news was just how many of those highlighted developers were local.
SMG Studio, the makers of Death Squared and One More Line, pointed out that the developer slide shown during this morning's Apple conference had a healthy distribution of Australian and New Zealand-based studios. There's a few more local studios that weren't spotted by SMG at the time either, like Subtle Boom (diagonally right from the SMG logo in green). Gameloft's contribution to the Apple Arcade was also local, with the company confirming that Ballistic Baseball was produced by their Brisbane-based studio.
— SMG Studio (@smgstudio) September 11, 2019
The slide also didn't include Aussie games published under another banner, like Annapurna, which is publishing The Artful Escape and Florence from Mountains onto the new Apple service.
We're (@TheArtfulEscape) coming to Apple Arcade as well! ^.^
— Jack Knobel (@jack_knobel) September 10, 2019
Out of the announced games, we know that Projection: First Light — which we first wrote about in 2016 and has been doing the rounds at PAX for years — is homegrown, as is Ballistic Baseball. The Kiwi-based studio Flightless is also working on Doomsday Vault, which is an Apple Arcade exclusive.
It’s official: our new game, Doomsday Vault, will be available to play exclusively on Apple Arcade! We can’t wait to tell you more about it. @AppStoreGames #AppleEvent #AppleArcade #Gaming #indiedev https://t.co/oiNmEgLnCF pic.twitter.com/iFg3ZntQkU
— Flightless (@flightlessnz) March 25, 2019
We can also make some logical estimates based on the studios on the developer slide. The inclusion of Route 59 Games means Necrobarista, which isn't due for release until later this year, will undoubtedly hit the Apple Arcade the month it launches. The inclusion of Dinosaur Polo Club means the Kiwi-based studio means either Mini Metro is coming to Apple Arcade, but based off this tweet a week ago, it's probably the studio's next project.
There's more Australian games in the works, and given Apple's history of favouring Aussie development, we're likely to see more appear on the Arcade by the end of the year. But it's nice to see Aussie games up there on the big stage. We don't have the AAA development scene we used to, but the environment out there for indies can still be stable, which results in more choice and more games to play at the end of the day.