Sent to FORM on 14th February 2012:
To Whom It May Concern,
We are writing in support of The Foundry Digital Media Hub, a FORM project proposal to establish a facility to provide infrastructure, resources, and services at the Midland Atelier to support digital media in Western Australia. Our particular interest in the Digital Media Hub is the potential for greater support of game development in Western Australia.
Games Industry and Cultural Value
The commercial video games industry generates approximately $60 billion annually worldwide, and is growing at a rate of 10% annually. The Australian domestic market is worth approximately $1.5 billion with 9 out of 10 Australian households owning a device for playing games. Locally, the West Australian games industry boasts over 40 game development related businesses, and over half a dozen full-time tertiary education courses throughout the state.
Aside from the commercial games market, games technology is increasingly ubiquitous in a wide range of industries including: mining and resources, education, advertising, and online media. Games are also pervasive in popular culture and a preferred platform for expression by a wave of young artists, designers, and writers who use unique aspects of the medium to engage audiences.
During a recent (16 October 2011) presentation at the Digital Culture Public Sphere event, Hon Simon Crean (Federal Minister for the Arts), described games as “the next iteration of the film industry”. Surprisingly, despite the clear growing value of the games industry, there is very little infrastructure to support game development in Western Australia and the local industry has yet to receive any state government support.
Let’s Make Games Inc.
Let’s Make Games Inc. is the only non-profit organisation actively supporting the game developer community of Western Australia. We engage hundreds of game creators and interact with related organisations locally, interstate, and internationally. Our regular events routinely attract 40-100 participants, our website garners over 5000 visits per month, and our mailing list and social media presence have a weekly reach of over 400 people.
We appreciate FORM’s recognition of game development as a vital factor in the future of digital media, as evidenced by the inclusion of games in the objectives for the Digital Media Hub. We also feel that collaboration between game developers and other industries is crucial to prepare for increasing consumer expectation of richer interactive experiences.
We look forward to working closely with FORM to identify how the Digital Media Hub can maximally benefit the local game developer community. We believe that the coordination of the Digital Media Hub with our practical experience and knowledge of the local game developer community will also result in substantial benefit for related creative industries and Western Australia.
From Let’s Make Games Inc.