Why Game Developers Should All Come To Australia

Just reading over at Biobreak a post about a post by Mark Jacobs, one of the bright lights behind Warhammer Online, is returning to work, although he didn’t say what on.

The thing that caught my eye was the bit about being held by his employment contract to not being able to work in his chosen area for the last year. This isn’t new news of course, there’s a long tradition of US companies that are so scared of the slightest competition forcing their employees to not work for a period of time, or to change career.

So here’s my invitation to you, game developer person. Come to Australia where the employment laws make it illegal for Australian companies to include such clauses in their employment contracts. And if they do, those clauses cannot actually be enforced. Our employers cannot sack someone on a whim either, meaning that you don’t have to fear leaving crunch time to attend your childs birthday party or attend a sick relative — or even just to go home and get some sleep. (We work smarter, not harder.)

We have a great climate, but of course you know that already. What you might not know is that we do have a fairly reasonable cost of living and living standards, depending on the city you choose to live in. In fact the two game development hubs in Oz, Brisbane and Melbourne aren’t the most expensive places to live (although Melbourne does come close. It’s second to Sydney.) Unfortunately, Adelaide (my home town) while one of the low cost of living, great family lifestyle places, isn’t really a hub of game development activity.

You probably also don’t realise that Aussies are pretty smart people. Every year, tremendous scientific and medical breakthroughs are made here.

We’re also a friendly bunch.

Mark, if you’re reading this, consider relocating here. You’ll be able to build great games with good people, and not worry about those pesky employment contracts again.

You just have to watch out for the wildlife, that’s all.

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  1. Mark Jacobs

    Funny you should mention that. Ever since I was a young lad I have wanted to visit Australia. What got me hooked was an old movie called Support Your Local Sheriff. In that film James Garner plays a character who is always “working his way to Australia” but of course never gets there. Well, after seeing that film I went down to the local library and read up on Australia. Ever since then I have wanted to visit and haven’t found the time (or willpower, I’m known as a tough guy to get on a plane) to visit your wonderful country. I have little doubt I’ll love it based on what I know and friends who I have talked to about it and maybe one day I’ll visit.

    But yes, your wildlife scares me. I’m a Bronx-boy born and bred, I can deal with gangs, knives, etc. but man oh man, the stuff you got down there is literally, a whole other world.



  2. Ysharros

    But… but… you all live upside-down!!

    Don’t try to deny it, my stepdad’s a Kiwi!


    Oh and Mark, watch out – they’re ALL convicts in Oz!
    (/slopes off to think of another stereotype)

  3. Stropp (Post author)

    @Mark — We’d love to have you visit, if you do (and come to adelaide) let me know and I’ll buy you a ‘real’ Australian beer, not that Fosters rubbish. Funny you mention that movie, I saw it only five or six weeks ago at a friends place.

    And don’t worry too much about the wildlife, in the city all you have to worry about is the spider bites and they fortunately dont happen that often. The odds are pretty low, even if it does happen (a friend of mine was bitten by a redback a year or so ago now, and since it’s rare the odds are I won’t get the same. πŸ˜‰ )

    @Ysharros — From our viewpoint, it’s you Northern-Hemispherions that live upside down! And despite our convict heritage, we play a mean game of knifey-spooney.

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