Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    Game on - in Perth!

    30/03/2007 10:32 AM
     
    30/3/07

    Western Australia’s attractive lifestyle and the quality of the State’s computing graduates have convinced a major new online games company to move to Perth.

    Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan today announced a three-year $500,000 State Government funding package which had secured the establishment of the US-based company Interzone’s game development studio in WA.

    Mr Logan said Interzone would develop online entertainment products that focus on the Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games market.

    MMO games - where potentially millions of subscribers can participate in multiplayer games over the Internet at the same time - are expected to generate a $10billion worldwide market by 2008.

    The Minister made the announcement at the inaugural GO3 Electronic Entertainment Exhibition and Conference at the Perth Convention Centre.

    He said Interzone’s multi-million dollar investment was expected to create 300 jobs for WA, making it one of the State’s most significant employers of local computing graduates.

    “Many local computing graduates, especially in games development, are forced to leave WA to pursue employment opportunities - Interzone’s move will help keep our graduates here,” Mr Logan said.

    Interzone was established in 2006 and is the brainchild of international games industry leaders Martin Brickley and Perth-born Robert Spencer.

    “Martin and I identified a significant growth opportunity in the MMO games market and have brought together a team of people who have successfully developed and marketed digital media games around the world,” Mr Spencer said.

    “The major deciding factors for choosing Perth as the location to establish the Interzone office was the WA Government’s support and the quality and availability of local graduates, particularly the collaboration between tertiary institutions and industry.

    “Perth is also a great place to live and work in and I encourage anyone in the computer gaming industry to seriously consider relocating here.”

    Mr Logan said the WA Government’s financial assistance would be used to bring some of the online games industry’s brightest and best developers to Perth, as well as employ and train local graduates.

    “World-class games development experience will fast-track local knowledge and skills in areas such as software development and creative capability in script, direction, animation and music,” he said.

    Murdoch University’s Head of School for information technology, Peter Cole, has welcomed Interzone’s move to Perth as an employer of the university’s games technology graduates.

    “Interzone’s investment will create employment opportunities for graduates who will now be able to stay in Perth,” Mr Cole said.

    “Interzone is also employing the most highly skilled computer games experts from around the world and bringing them to Perth, which will enable skills exchange and experience for graduates at the highest level.

    “We produce world-class games graduates and now they can develop world-class experience locally.”

    The Minister said the $500,000 package would be paid in instalments, on the completion of certain employment landmarks.

    He said the GO3 Electronic Entertainment Exhibition and Conference was the perfect platform to showcase the State’s growing computer game and digital content industries.

    “The State Government is diversifying the economy beyond the current resources boom and the ICT sector is a critical part of this strategy,” he said.

    “WA has the expertise, infrastructure and lifestyle to support this growing and exciting industry.

    ”The Carpenter Government is making decisions for the future. We are encouraging innovation and promoting new industries to ensure Western Australians have well-paid skills jobs into the future.”

    The new WA Games Capability Directory has also been launched as part of GO3, showcasing the State’s expertise in games development, education and industry.

    Copies of the directory are available at the Department of Industry and Resources’ booth at GO3 or online at http://www.doir.wa.gov.au/wagcd

    Minister's office - 9222 8950