As we’ve previously reported, after a major downturn in the late 2000s, the Australian game development scene has started to quickly become a capable force again. Major hits such as Cult of the Lamb have proven that the region is more than capable of producing excellent games while tax incentives, with more than 30% compensation available to studios spending over A$500,000, were also seen as a major support point for developers in the region.
The Australian Game Developer Awards have been organized since 2002 in their official form, originally by the AGDC (Australian Games Developer Conference) and are now offered by the IGEA (Interactive Games and Entertainment Association). The 2022 awards show saw two key wins from mobile developers, namely Kinder World (Lumi Interactive) and The Oregon Trail (Gameloft), a resurrection of the famed original.
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kinder world is an interesting beast, a game that lets players tend to a houseplant in a virtual space, as well as have them perform daily mental wellness exercises. It focuses on improving and maintaining mental health using virtual tools. The game won the Excellence in Serious Games award. Meanwhile, Gameloft received both the Studio of the Year award and Excellence in Ongoing Games for their relaunch of The Oregon Trail series. Oregon Trail being a famous title that was originally a simulation of life on the American expansion road of the same name, distributed in many American schools in the early days of PC games.
These two titles represent different ends of the spectrum in the Australian mobile gaming market. On the one hand, a calm and even meditative experience, and on the other hand, a game infamous for its exciting but stressful strategic planning. This indicates a healthy development atmosphere, where Australian creators are not limited to one or two successful genres but have a whole range of them that they aim to explore.
Recently, Australian developer League of Geeks proved as much as they finalized their ongoing development of the RPG title Armello, and is now develop a revival from the cult classic strategy game Solium Infernum.