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How Australia's indie scene is rising from the ashes of AAA development

A recent Polygon report sheds light on how some developers are banding together to try and make their own things instead of chasing after outsourced work from offshore publishers.
"The Australian games industry that has been emerging from the ashes of the previous one is set to be successful more on their own efforts and own IP, less so on completely uncontrollable factors like a shifting dollar or bankers."

- IGDA Sydney's Geoffrey Hill.

The Australian game industry has been beset by financial cuts and studio closures in recent years, but those setbacks have also given rise to a thriving indie scene. 

Polygon recently attended an indie dev meetup in Sydney, and the ensuing report sheds light on how some local developers are banding together to try and make their own things instead of chasing after outsourced work from offshore publishers.

"We had our teachers telling us that we weren't going to get a job at a big studio...they said, 'You're probably going to want to start your own studio, so get good quick,'" Australian developer Krister Collin told Polygon. "It created a big indie studio scene...that's OK, because now there's a lot of great studios and we have the room to get weird."

Geoffrey Hill serves as the head of the International Game Developer Association's Sydney chapter, and he points out that Australia's game industry took a huge hit right before 2010 thanks, in part, to the global financial crisis and a strong Australian dollar that made outsourcing work to the region expensive for offshore publishers.

"It hit the industry pretty hard, as that's where their business and jobs were coming from," Hill told Polygon. "The [Australian] industry at the time was reliant on external parties coming in with projects. I believe this wasn't the best way to build an industry in any case, the profits were going offshore with the IP."

Now, he tells Polygon, the Australian game industry is poised to grow in a more sustainable fashion thanks to the success studios like Hipster Whale (Crossy Road) and Defiant Development (Hand of Fate) are seeing with their own original games.

You can learn more about those games, and hear from their developers, in the full Polygon feature.

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