The Australian videogame industry is suffering right now, in a bad way. Though the small, more agile teams and the two juggernauts of iOS games Halfbrick and Firemint are going gangbusters, the larger-scale, higher budget sector has been all but obliterated over the past four or five years. Following this, there is a perceived 'brain drain' (how often we hear that with regard to the Australian workforce...) or an 'exodus' of talent moving overseas, particularly to Canada. Why are the pastures so much greener in the snow-covered gardens of our northern Commonwealth brothers? What has happened to the local industry to cause such a drought? How can we pick up the pieces and carry on?
I've been talking to a lot of people about this, and I have some thoughts.
So this year I've actually followed the bulk of the E3 conferences. Its been an interesting experience, and maybe unsurprisingly I've had a few ideas regarding some announcements made, and reactions to those announcements. These are pretty rapid-fire thoughts, not refined or researched, but rather 'gut feelings' with about an hours' reflection time. The two things I'll talk about here are a general comment on the historical precession of the industry. There's been (as there always seems to be now) an overtone of disappointment, of questioning whether any of the big 3 are 'innovative enough' and why we just aren't surprised by their announcements at this year's E3. The second topic is more specific ideas on the Wii U.