McCrea’s asserts that the Australian game industry has recently made bold new choices, fostering a union between studios like Melbourne based mobile game studio Firmint, and independents developers. But apparently you can only be one, not both. I came across a different perspective from an ex-employee of Firemint, Logan Booker, in his article on Kotaku My First Week As An Indie Game Developer.
Logan’s article documents the reasons why he left Firemint to develop his own game. The first reason was the limitation placed on him due to the contract stipulating that he can only work on games for that company. This restriction is a common clause found in most developers contracts. Not something I expected from Australia’s gaming industry supporting independent game developers. Maybe the game industry is still suffering from some of the issues which destroyed itself in the past, like bad work cultures. But in this case its pushing people to commit and risk their jobs to be an independent, and its working.
After the article on Kotaku, Booker found a partner, created the studio Screwfly Studios and finished his game within a year, as he had hoped. It was released in September, 2012. Two years later Screwfly Studios finished their second game Deadnaut.