The Studio: A government initiative supporting local mediatech and gaming

The Studio is an incubator project based right here in Sydney. It’s a really cool project we wanted to learn more about because it’s one of the few supporting the local game industry. We’ve got a breakdown of its origins, what it’s about and how the government is supporting the initiative.

About The Studio

The Studio is a not-for-profit incubator to “cultivate startup and scaleup businesses in the media, entertainment, communications, games, sound, design and creative industries.” Essentially, The Studio is all about supporting mediatech and creativetech startups. It’s a way to help these startups compete on the world stage.

The official launch of The Studio was the 26th of July 2018.

From a gaming perspective, IGEA is one of the gaming industry partners supporting the initiative. So, it’s good to see it be directly connected to the wider gaming industry through IGEA.

What does The Studio offer?

One of the main features of The Studio is the ability for startups to take up residence in The Studio which shares a space in the Sydney Startup Hub co-working space in Wynyard. It’s reminiscent of other industry co-working spaces like tech accelerator ‘muru-D’ and the fintech-focused ‘Stone and Chalk’.

The Studio will also be supporting education programs, events, workshops, seminars and other events.

How did The Studio come to be?

The Studio is a result of a Masters thesis and research at the Australian Film Television an Radio School, by Chantal Abouchar, now CEO of The Studio.

According to our PR contact, Chantal studied incubators and accelerators in the USA, then for years lobbied to get industry and government funding to support and bring the whole concept to life.

The government funding was finally confirmed late last year.

Thoughts about The Studio from its founder

When you combine industry collaboration with industry focus you create a powerful, globally competitive base for innovation.

When you do the sums you realise a nation with a workforce of 11 million people must increasingly compete with hundreds of millions of people globally. So globally it’s easy to understand how collaboration can unlock exciting potential.

-Chantal Abouchar, Founder & CEO of The Studio

What gaming companies are residents of The Studio?

The Studio has several startups focusing on VR and AR games including:

  • AFK Agency
  • Evaro and
  • Transmedia Entertainment

Finally, a tech/gaming-related initiative supported by federal and state government

One of the most awesome things about The Studio is that The Commonwealth provided a one-off co-investment of $500,000 (to match the industry contribution).

The NSW government is also providing a rent subsidy for The Studio as a tenant of the Sydney Startup Hub. We’ve confirmed with their PR team that this subsidy covers a three-year lease.

Government support of the gaming industry

While The Studio isn’t a gaming-only initiative, it’s good to see some kind of government support. Especially, after the lack of action following the Senate committee’s report on how to support the local gaming industry (There’s a good summary of this saga here). Not to mention, the effect of losing the Australian Interactive Games Fund.

The Studio is a step towards building more epic Australian gaming companies. Imagine if we had dozens of other Halfbricks (Fruit Ninja) or Bondi Studios (L.A. Noire).

More government support of the gaming industry can only be a good thing (like in the case of the stadium debate).

Learn more about The Studio

Head to their homepage here to learn more:

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Lifelong gamer with a fond love of RPGs, MMOs, puzzle games and mobile games.

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