Monday, 15 August 2016 17:49

Firemonkeys' move gives Melbourne lift as digital games leader

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Martin Foley, Victorian Minister for Creative Industries tries out a Firemonkeys' game watched by the Firemonkeys' team Martin Foley, Victorian Minister for Creative Industries tries out a Firemonkeys' game watched by the Firemonkeys' team

Melbourne’s credentials as Australia’s digital games “heartland” has been boosted with the launch of Australia’s largest games development headquarters, Electronic Arts’ Firemonkeys studio in Docklands.

Firemonkeys — formed with the merger of two independent Australian studios, Firemint and IronMonkey was established when global games giant EA Games acquired both studios and brought them together in 2012.

Since then, the mobile gaming industry has grown exponentially as has the studio and with 170 employees, the team has moved to the Docklands after outgrowing its former offices on St Kilda Road.

Firemonkeys general manager Tony Lay says the new headquarters will allow the company to attract and retain the best talent and increase its technical capacity.

“We are proud to be Australia’s largest mobile game developer, and our new Docklands office represents a continued commitment to innovation, creativity and collaboration, which is at the core of Firemonkeys’ work and success.

“It also signals our commitment to Melbourne, which we believe is the creative heart of the mobile gaming industry in Australia – and increasingly at a global level too.”

Lay says Melbourne is home to almost half of Australia’s game developers with 107 development studios ranging from leading global companies to independent boutique developers.

And, Victoria is also leading the way in games education with approximately 1000 students graduating from games-related tertiary courses annually.   

Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, said the digital games sector is one of the fastest growing global industries and (Firemonkey’s expansion) is “ensuring that Victoria is the best place to do business”.

Foley said Firemonkeys' story is one of “innovation, creativity and global success”.

“The expansion of Australia’s leading games company — and its continued success will mean more jobs for local developers so Victoria can continue to keep and attract the world’s best talent.

“Melbourne is where Australia’s games sector began and today we continue to lead the way – creating some of the most popular digital games in the world.”

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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