Australia's Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher unveiled two new programs that he says will give Victorian games developers "valuable support to develop and market high-quality games for a global audience."
The new game programs will be overseen by Film Victoria, who will provide $500,000 to support the development of commercial projects through investment and business support. Mr. Asher said the Victorian Coalition Government is committed to driving and supporting Australia's growing games industry through these new initiatives.
Australia’s Attorney General John Rau has done an about face according to Indaily, who reports that he has given a greenlight to both MA15+ and R18+ games rating classifications. Previously he had made a decision to abolish the MA15+ classification in South Australia when the new 18-rated game classification was approved.
The Attorney General said that the recently released guidelines were "stringent enough" and different enough from an earlier draft he had some qualms about.
VG247 points out the release of a new document released by Australia's classification board, which puts a strong emphasis on the negative effects that games can have due to their "interactive elements."
The Australian Capital Territory has officially introduced the R18+ ratings classification for games, according to Gamespot (Thanks to Cheater87 for the tip). The law was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly this week, making it the first territory in the country to do so. The new rating was introduced earlier this year.
The CEO of middleware company BigWorld has resigned from the company. Earlier in the week it was announced that World of Tanks developer Wargaming had bought the middleware provider for $45 million. CEO John De Margheriti, who was one of the founders of the company, will step down at the end of this week. He will be replaced by co-founder Steve Wang, who will report directly to executives at Wargaming. Despite the departure, De Margheriti's statement seems to indicate an amicable exit from BigWorld.
According to this Computer World Australia report, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has some harsh words for the Australian federal government for its part in pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is currently in negotiations in the U.S. The treaty is an agreement between Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the U.S.
Australia New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione is taking a lot heat for comments he made recently blaming the rise of teen knife-related crimes on playing violent video games. Scipione recently told The Daily Telegraph that teens were being desensitized to violence by playing violent video games that reward them for "killing and raping people." Obviously a tired trope related to Grand Theft Auto spewed by politicians.
Researchers at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia) have come to the conclusion that pre-school aged children who play interactive video games (such as those found on the Wii) have better motor skills than those children who do not regularly play interactive games. Deakin University researchers and a researcher form the University of Wollongong conducted a pilot study in 2009 of 53 pre-schoolers ages three to six years old (31 girls, 22 boys) to determine if there was some sort of association between playing games and the fundamental movement skills of children.
THQ Australia confirmed that it will honor all Darksiders II pre-order DLC bonuses purchased through retailer GAME Australia. The retailer announced this morning that it would close its 15 remaining stores on July 8.
GAME Australia had offered Australian customers who pre-ordered THQ's upcoming game the Deadly Despair DLC pack, but then it went into liquidation. Obviously if the retailer is no longer in business it won't be able to fulfill those promised pre-order bonuses.
GAME Australia will officially shut down on July 8, with the remaining 15 stores closing across the country, according to administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Last month PwC announced that GAME Australia would be closing the remaining stores but did not offer an exact date at the time. The Administrator for GAME Australia also announced that the remaining assets of the video game retailer would be liquidated to pay down the company’s debt.
Earlier this year a 32 year-old woman was charged with 41 counts of stealing and fraud after allegedly trying to boost $2,500 AUD in electronics, games and other merchandise from a Big W department store in Queensland, Australia. When police searched her residence in Ipswich they realized that she had been at it for quite some time.
According to a Financial Times report Apple has been fined AUS $2.25 million ($2.29 million USD) by the Australian government for falsely advertising that its new high definition iPad was compatible with high-speed 4G networks in the country.
In a not-so-surprising twist, Games Australia administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that at today's creditors meeting stakeholders came to the conclusion that the best thing that could be done for the troubled retailer is to liquidate the company. Today administrators Kate Warwick and Greg Hall were named as the liquidators who will oversea the final and irrevocable sale of GAME's assets.
In an obvious bid to promote the new book he co-authored with Danya Braunstein, "Growing Up Fast And Furious: Reviewing The Impacts Of Violent And Sexualised Media On Children," Macquarie University Children and Families Research Centre (in Sydney, Australia) deputy director Dr. Wayne Warburton tells Adelaide Now that years of research from every corner of the globe show a definitive link between time watching violent media and the "likelihood" of aggressive behavior in kids.
GAME Australia administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced that it will "immediately" shut down 16 retail stores in Australia, with the remaining 15 stores to be closed in the "coming weeks." The retailer went into administration (bankruptcy protection) last month, and while there was plenty of optimistic talk about saving the chain in Australia in the lead-up to today's news, most believed the writing was on the wall for the company.
The Australian government has finally approved the R18+ adult rating category for video games after legislation passed the Australian Federal Parliament with bipartisan support. The new law will finally bring computer games in line with the classification system already used for films and other entertainment..
Shadow attorney-general George Brandis told the Senate that it made sense that the country's classification process would now be uniform "classifying all media according to a single set of criteria."
Citing an anonymous source close to the retailer, GameSpot Australia is reporting that all of Australia's GAME retail stores will be shut down by the end of next week. The anonymous source also asserts that the business is now "$120 million in debt."
GameStop International and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have partnered to bring PlayStation Network DLC to 1,600 retail video game stores throughout Europe and Australia. This includes stores in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Consumers can purchase downloadable content in stores using cash, gift cards, and in-store credits from trade-ins to buy the DLC.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrator for GAME Australia, announced plans to close a number of underperforming retail stores in the country today. PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that it will close 60 stores in Australia and lay off 264 employees. Seventeen additional employees will be let go at GAME's head office as well.
"This is a difficult time for employees and closing the stores was not a decision we made easily," said Kate Warwick of PricewaterhouseCoopers. "However it is not financially viable to continue to operate at this level at this time."
The Australian arm of UK games retailer GAME made headlines on Monday when it told customers that it couldn’t honor its pre-orders for Diablo III. As one might imagine, this was not great for the company's reputation amongst customers, but luckily Blizzard stepped in and saved the day. This news came after news on Monday that it had entered into administration and had named PriceWaterhouseCoopers as the administrator.
According to a report in the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph video game retailer GAME has announced that its Australian division was going into "voluntary administration." The company has chosen Pricewaterhouse Coopers to deal with its current financial complications, though the accounting firm said that the 92 stores in the country would continue to run while things were sorted out. The company employs about 500 people in Australia.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian parliament has decided that an enquiry is necessary to investigate the "imbalance in pricing" for online content and services in the country compared to other global territories.
Parents in New Zealand and Australia are embracing the idea that video games can serve as great tools to engage and educate children, according to new research commissioned by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA).
In a major setback for rights holders doing business in Australia, the High Court of Australia has ruled that Internet providers have no legal obligation to act on copyright infringement notices sent to them by rights holders. The court ruled that copyright infringement notices provide no "reasonable basis for sending warning notices to individual customers containing threats to suspend or terminate those customers' accounts."
South Australia will introduce a new law that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing a game with a rating of MA15+, according to a report from Gamespot Australia. A spokesperson for South Australian Attorney-General John Rau told GameSpot that this move is "a more practical measure" than Rau's previously announced plan of removing the MA15+ category altogether.