Wednesday, 12 September 2018 19:31

New members continue to boost IGEA expansion

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New members continue to boost IGEA expansion Image courtesy of Alesanko R at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australia's Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, the lobby group for computer and video games manufacturers, continues to expand its membership, boosting its ranks with the latest admissions of independent game developer SMG Studio and entertainment company Hoyts.

Ron Curry, chief executive of IGEA says, “By expanding our membership and welcoming game developers into the association, IGEA can better advocate and meet the needs of the entire video games industry in Australia.

“We need a complete development ecosystem for Australia to thrive and compete on a global stage for both audience and talent. We look forward to working with SMG and many other studios to achieve a positive outcome for the industry.”

SMG Studio is based in Sydney and dedicated to original and licensed IP for mobile, console and PC. It was founded in 2013 after receivind funding from the Australian Interactive Games Fund.

SMG joins IGEA which already counts other prominent Australian game development studios such as Big Ant, Gameloft, Firemonkeys (an EA company), Nnooo, Wicked Witch and Well Placed Cactus among its members. Curry says this will make a significant contribution to all policy and advocacy work which includes securing game development funding from the government.

He describes SMG as a prime example of what a “hand up” can provide to the Australian game development sector.  

The association also notes that since receiving assistance via the fund, SMG has expanded from four employees to 26 employees — more than 500% growth — and continues to make successful games and employ “highly-skilled and talented Australians who contribute to the economy”.

SMG Studio founder Ash Ringrose says, “We see the need for a consistent and strong voice at both State and Federal government levels to outline the huge potential of the local industry on the world stage."

Hoyts, which owns and operates 49 cinemas, with more than 425 screens and 62,000 seats in Australia and New Zealand, has joined IGEA as an associate member and has recently entered the esports industry to offer its venues with high-end technology systems as a place where fans can watch and participate in esports tournaments, both locally and internationally.

Hoyts Esports general manager Scott Russell said: “Watching films and playing games are incredibly popular pastimes for Australians of all ages. We see the crossover in audience and we are very excited that Hoyts can be a part of, and contribute to, the growth of esports in Australia.

“By partnering with IGEA we are able to work with leading publishers to deliver successful esports activations to the growing number of fans and enthusiasts in Australia and abroad.”

Said Curry: “As the games industry expands into many different areas, our task at IGEA is to represent the diverse interests of the sector.

“It is the responsibility of an association to represent the interest of its members and speak in a clear, unified voice on behalf of the industry. By welcoming members such as SMG Studios and Hoyts into the fold, we are better positioned to do so.

“Games are arguably one of the most, if not the most, popular entertainment choices of our time. Games deserve to be treated and respected not only as a legitimate form of entertainment, but also as a highly viable, creative industry that has the potential to be a significant contributor to the innovation and knowledge economy Australia needs.”

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Peter Dinham

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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