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5 things we learned from the Melbourne International Games Week

5 things we learned from the Melbourne International Games Week

There's a refreshing and uplifting vibe of progressive thinking and inclusivity amongst the Australian games industry.

Characters are colourful, diverse and wonderful. A different picture indeed to that of 10 years ago, when numerous large studios, from Sega to 2K, closed their doors on Australia following the stock market crash. 

Rejuvenated sector

It’s a good feeling and a welcome tonic for the tiredness and heaviness known only to those who travelled across time zones to get there.

The Melbourne International Games Week plays host to a slew of events, from the industry focused Games Connect Asia Pacific conference to the consumer-facing PAX Australia.

Talks may have ranged from fun and charming to informative and relevant, but the tread of responsibility and kindness threaded itself through.

Here are the five lessons that stayed with us most.


Click here to view the list »
  • Fortnite developer Epic Games to open new Australia and New Zealand branch

    Fortnite developer Epic Games to open new Australia and New Zealand branch logo

    A bit of a two for one to start, but we learned that Epic Games is in the midst of setting up an Australia and New Zealand branch.

    Helping set it up is departing GDAA CEO Anthony Reed, who announced the move himself after the closing GCAP keynote.

    “Melissa Lancuba will be taking over as interim CEO after my departure in a couple of weeks,” said Reed.

    “I am extraordinarily proud of the work that I’ve done, but most of all I’m proud of you. Because you came from the worst of times and you built an industry that the world takes notice of.”


  • How the esports landscape will change in Australia and New Zealand over the coming 12 months

    How the esports landscape will change in Australia and New Zealand over the coming 12 months logo

    The Australian esports scene is apparently in for a big 12 months as we dive into 2019.

    According to ESL’s managing director of Japan Asia Pacific and EGAA chairman Nick Zanzetti, it will require a helping hand from the freshly formed Esports Games Association Australia to sustain that.

    Started up in 2017, the EGAA collaborates with players, teams, managers, organisers and sponsors to hash out standards in a bid to advance the Australian esports scene.

    “There’s a lot of work to do in 2019, and I’m very happy with the way we’ve managed to create a body with a great cross-section of people who are interested in pushing esports forward," said Zanzetti.

    “The most important takeaway of what we’re trying to achieve with the EGAA is a sustainable future for esports.”


  • Games tech is more accessible than ever

    Games tech is more accessible than ever logo

    Thanks to advancement in tech games developers can spend more time worrying about their games and less about the technology that powers them.

    According to Zenimax Online Studios chief Matt Firor, that shift is the most significant change the industry has seen over his near 30-year stay.

    “Now you can just download Unity and install a multiplayer pack and suddenly you have a toolbox you can make a game with,” said Firor.

    “I think it really comes down to know that you get to focus more on the game and less on the technology, which you would have never been able to do until the past couple of years.”

    Our sister-site PCGamesInsider.biz recently caught up with Matt Firor to discuss accessibility with its MMO The Elder Scrolls Online.


  • Ken Wong: “In 2018 one of the most punk, transgressive, brave and bad-ass thing you can do is to care about each other”

    Ken Wong: “In 2018 one of the most punk, transgressive, brave and bad-ass thing you can do is to care about each other” logo

    The past 30 years have seen the games industry become more commonplace and established.

    Society's wider acceptance of the medium as a legitimate form of creativity, however, has meant that it’s less punk to back it.

    Now the deed is done, Mountains' Ken Wong reckons we need to shift our energy to the next big punk thing, which is to care for each other and make the industry more inclusive.

    “The next rebels will make games that educate, explore and solve the world’s problems. We got good during the past few decades at making straight games and addictive games,” said Wong.

    “What the rebellion needs now is queer games, political games and poetic games.”


  • “We shouldn’t see similarity as a requirement for helping each other,” Working Lunch's Ally McLean on mentorship

    “We shouldn’t see similarity as a requirement for helping each other,” Working Lunch's Ally McLean on mentorship logo

    One of the most common mistakes a mentor can make is thinking that their mentee must be a mirror image of their younger self.

    Women’s mentee programme Working Lunch director Ally McLean shared some insight from her experiences so far, noting it was one of the mistakes she had noticed.

    “So the first misconception that I bought into about mentorship that I can get rid of for you now is that mentees should be your younger self,” said McLean.

    “This is a lazy exercise in ink and it doesn’t help anybody.

    “If we only foster the futures of people who we see ourselves in, people who are exactly like us, we’re gatekeeping the industry and we’re preventing new voices from revolutionising the ways we make games in a time when we need to revolutionise the ways we make games."


Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.

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