Press release from Solid Ink Communications

Australian game studios, developers and enthusiasts have gathered in Melbourne today for Film Victoria’s Digital Distribution Summit: Small Games, Big Market – the first of its kind in Asia Pacific. The Summit is a free one day event for game developers, publishers, studios, venture capitalists and enthusiasts to network with international and local game industry heavyweights and discuss the rapidly growing business of digital game distribution.
A Film Victoria initiative, the Digital Distribution Summit is a national event designed to foster the growing market for digitally distributed games, such as iPhone applications and Xbox Live Arcade. Asia Pacific is the largest online gaming market in the world and Australian consumer spending on online games in 2009 is estimated at $210.7 million, which means it’s no surprise that the Summit has garnered support from international game experts and attracted huge interest from the Australian gaming community. Digital game distribution lets developers quickly and cheaply prototype original IP, drastically reducing their reliance on traditional publishers and opening doors to secure a larger share of game sale revenue.
The Summit sees more than 400 people from the national gaming community gaining valuable insight into the global digital distribution market from gaming gurus, such as David Edery (former worldwide games portfolio manager of Xbox Live Arcade), Jamil Moledina (Outreach Director of EA), Simon Carless (Chairman of the Independent Games Festival, publisher of Develop Magazine and, and Rob Murray (CEO of successful local studio Firemint and creator of Flight Control).
In opening the conference today Film Victoria CEO Sandra Sdraulig announced a new funding initiative specifically established to support the online gaming industry, “The new Downloadable Games Initiative will see Film Victoria invest more than half a million dollars to support five new projects in the next 12 months. With the Australian game industry expected to increase from $1.5 billion to $2.2 billion in 2013, digital distribution presents significant new business opportunities to local game companies. Our aim is to support and inspire the local industry to take advantage of this burgeoning market.”
“Through the Downloadable Games Initiative game creators can secure up to $75,000 per project to support the development of a prototype for online distribution. What’s more, if a project is able to secure distribution from a successfully developed prototype, they’ll be eligible for top-up funding to finance production,” continued Ms. Sdraulig.
Confirming the significant economic and employment benefits of the games industry and the role of government to support innovation and business skill development, Ms. Sdraulig said, “During 2008/09 we’ve supported 12 digital media prototypes which generated a spend of $4.7 million, representing a 348% increase in total Victorian spend on digital media. But it’s not just funding that provides critical support to the industry, opportunities for networking and education are also paramount hence why we’ve created today’s event.”
“The Digital Distribution Summit is a rare opportunity for the gaming community to explore international growth and trends, and for a select number of developers to present their projects in one-on-one workshops and ask questions of the most influential practitioners in their field. This is a true meeting-of-the-minds and we look forward to seeing the future gains to the national and local industry resulting from the Summit.”
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