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Out of challenge, comes opportunity. You will not find a better example than in the Australian game developer community. During the global economic downturn, the number of game development jobs dropped nearly 60%. Anyone who remained dedicated to the craft faced a choice: leave the industry or place a bet on themselves and try self-employment.

Many of those bets paid off. The country’s independent game development scene has exploded and created some worldwide hits. Crossy Road, an homage to the game Frogger, was named Best of 2014 by CNET, MacWorld, and the Apple App Store. The game was a collaboration between two independent developers: Matt Hall in regional Victoria and Andy Sum in Melbourne. The two, who each run their own independent shops, met at a conference in 2013 and teamed up to create the game under the name Hipster Whale.

Game development in Australia is now primarily DIY-driven. In 2012, 75% of revenue came from work on independent intellectual property. If you want your entertainment to come from a place that’s down with self-expression, look for games from Down Under.

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