Mighty success for Adelaide’s gaming industry

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By Kaia Wallis

The Mighty Kingdom team has expanded by nearly 20 people in less than six months after moving into Game Plus, a not-for-profit co-working centre for game developers in Adelaide’s CBD.

Known for their Lego, Shopkins and Disney games, Mighty Kingdom has firmly positioned itself in the global gaming market – with close to eight million customers each month worldwide.

“It’s a booming business,” says Mighty Kingdom general manager Dan Thorsland.

“We’re here to stay. The industry is absolutely here to stay, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.”

Mighty Kingdom moved into Game Plus as the anchor tenant this year – taking its team of about 35 employees into a 60-person space.

“This place really feels like ours,” says Dan.

Since moving, he says Mighty Kingdom has hired close to 20 new staff members and is close to reaching capacity.

General Manager of Mighty Kingdom Dan Thorsland. Image: Brand South Australia.

Game Plus, which opened its Pirie Street doors just five months ago, is already at 95% capacity and houses more than 20 companies.

The not-for-profit space was partly funded by the former Labor State Government, which provided $450,000 in assistance.

“Game Plus helped make the entire industry credible,” says Dan, who believes the workspace has promoted collaboration between developers.

“If a client comes in with a project we can’t accommodate, there are another 20 developers just outside my door.”

Mighty Kingdom currently has 19 projects listed on its website, all of which intend to target a global audience, something Dan attributes to the business’s success.

“Domestically, Australians spend around $3 billion a year on video games and video game hardware, like the consoles. Yet we only export around $116m,” Dan says.

“Our intent has always been to access the global market through export, and now we do that – we have seven or eight million customers per month around the world.”

A recently moved in Mighty Kingdom at Game Plus. Image: Brand South Australia

As an industry veteran, Dan spent time at one of SA’s first game developers, Ratbag.

“SA has proven for over a decade that it has the talent. Some of the best developers in the world are all ex-Ratbags,” he says.

“We are a community of scientists, researchers, educators and thinkers,” all skills he says over-lap with game development.

Dan says when Ratbag closed its doors in 2005 the local industry took a hit.

Now, he says the gaming community in Adelaide is stronger than ever with developers working together to ensure the local industry continues to thrive.

“The community had to diversify into multiple, successful companies,” says Dan.

“We don’t want to see one studio close, ever; I think that’s why the community is as tight as it is.”

Dan believes Adelaide has the potential to develop an even stronger industry presence, with the Ten Gigabit Adelaide project set to push the local industries export potential even further.

Ten Gigabit Adelaide is a high-speed network that will enable businesses and organisations to access exceptional 10Gbps data speeds and a range of cloud-based services.

The fibre optic data network is currently being rolled out to 1000 buildings throughout the CBD and North Adelaide.

“The Adelaide City Council’s Ten Gigabit project is an amazing piece of technology,” Dan says.

“It’s a very good piece of technology for someone that’s exporting digital with uncontested bandwidth.”

Dan believes there is plenty of room for more gaming companies in Adelaide.

“As a country, we make great games, so why not add another 20 or another 200 game developers here in SA. Why not?”

Header Image: Mighty Kingdom Facebook.

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