After an almost year-long search for an appropriate site, Games Plus has decided on a central business district space made possible by a $2 million grant from the South Australian Government.
The hub, taking up an entire floor of a CBD office building, is being billed as the largest incubator for the Australian game development industry.
Games Plus founders David De Margheriti and Amit Oberoi, who have set up a smaller hub in Canberra, were lured to Adelaide by the tight-knit gaming community and the state government’s vision for expanding the community.
De Margheriti said grants being offered by the government would help expand existing studios from medium to large companies quickly.
“Massive props to the South Australian Government for identifying the potential and understanding the vision of the game developers,” he said.
“It will bring more jobs and more local industry to the state.”
The AUD $2 million fund will be split to maximise returns, with $1.3 million earmarked for the production and marketing of Adelaide-made digital games and $200,000 allocated to industry specific skills development and education programs. The remaining $450,000 will be spent on the fit out of the 1000sq m Games Plus hub.
Oberoi said he hoped to have at least 12 studios signed up for the 180-desk co-working space by the time they launched in the next few weeks.
They have already secured six studios, including their anchor tenant Mighty Kingdom, which will move its 35 employees to one of the three offices in the new hub.
Mighty Kingdom Founder and Director Phil Mayes said the hub was a game changer for the industry in South Australia.
“This game development hub in Adelaide will serve as a focal point for local industry collaboration and investment, creating even more jobs,” he said.
Oberoi said clustering technical artists, programmers and producers together would make all the companies more competitive because they could learn from each other and bring their games to market more quickly.
“The gaming industry isn’t a zero-sum game, so it’s better to put everyone together to minimize the expense of learning, ” he said.
“Game Plus is a non-profit collaborative workspace for game developers. It provides a hub and national network for digital entrepreneurs to co-locate, share resources, knowledge and opportunities,” Oberoi said.
“Ultimately this alleviates identified challenges faced by the industry and provides an industry pathway for new and existing companies.”
Oberoi said although the hub would focus on gaming companies these businesses traditionally worked on products other than games, such as simulators for the defence industry.
South Australia Minister for Employment Kyam Maher said Adelaide was fast becoming the best place for digital games makers to set-up shop.
“By establishing the games hub here in the city, we’re sending a clear message to this multi- billion dollar global industry that we are open for business,” he said.
South Australian developer Mighty Kingdom made its name with its Shopkins: Welcome to Shopville app game in 2015, which quickly hit the top 10 in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The government-backed hub is expected to bring in more big players such as Mighty Kingdom.
De Margheriti said other gaming hubs had returned $7 for every dollar spent by the government, adding that he thought Australia had an opportunity to grow the industry because of its proximity to Asia and its large demand for western products.
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