Local company reaps benefits of gamescom

Last updated 28 Nov, 2023

gamescom, Europe's leading trade fair for digital games culture, was held in Germany between 24 – 28 August 2022. Local gaming company We Have Always Lived in the Forest secured funding from the Adelaide Economic Development Agency to attend the event, which it said helped get its brand out globally.

We have always lived for success

A South Australian company made “incredible inroads” with investors and industry members at the world’s largest gaming convention in Germany, after securing financial support from the Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA).

We Have Always Lived in the Forest attended gamescom in August after securing funding – which included $2,500 from AEDA – to travel to Cologne and represent Australia at the event.

gamescom attracted more than 500 companies from around the world, including renowned studios such as 2k Games, Bandai Namco, Koch Media, Sega, THQ Nordic, Ubisoft and WB Games.

The convention was a way for companies to share ideas, secure direct investment or push for a publishing deal.

We Have Always Lived in the Forest founder Chantal Ryan said they went into gamescom with “plans and hopes”, but a “narrow network” of contacts.

Ryan sought $1,186,000 AUD to fund the development, marketing and publishing of her game, darkwebSTREAMER.

The game was considered among the best indie games at the convention, according to niche publication IGN.

“Since our inception we’ve been fortunate to have amassed substantial interest from both our target consumer-base and desirable investors … but we were still relatively disconnected in the grand scheme of the industry — gamescom certainly changed that,” Ryan said.

“At the end of the day – we made incredible inroads with investors and industry members at large, and since our attendance at gamescom we’ve had a stream of emails, LinkedIn requests and interesting correspondences all wanting to know: how can we be part of what you’ve got?”

We Have Always Lived in the Forest is a female-led studio with a crew of four.


And those successes were aplenty

Ryan said her company made an “excellent impression” on industry figures, including offers to design a video game alongside successful industry veterans.

The brand had more than 30 meetings over six days with potential investors, attracted the interest of 12 major publishers, a drastic increase in industry presence, invitations to exclusive industry events and an opportunity to speak on a panel.

“The response from both players and investors was incredibly enthusiastic, as reflected in the many investment follow-ups we received as well as being featured in major industry media’s article selecting our flagship title, darkwebSTREAMER, as one of the best indie games they played at Gamescom,” Ryan said.

“Our undying thanks to the support of the Adelaide Economic Development Agency, the SA Department of Trade and Investment, Austrade, IGEA and everyone else who made these incredible connections and successes possible.”

Gaming 3

The gaming industry’s economic impact

According to data provided by the Department of Trade and Investment, South Australia’s game sector has more than doubled its economic contribution to the state.

The industry was up 66 per cent between 2017-18 and 2019-20, employing 286 FTEs and contributing $36.2 million in Industry Gross Value Added with, $45.3 million of turnover or exports.

It comes as the city prepares to welcome international games company Keywords Studios — as the first global video gaming business — to South Australia.

AEDA helped the company with site selection.

The studio will create 50 jobs over three years, offering South Australians the opportunity to work on games from some of the world’s biggest publishers.

The company, founded in Ireland in 1998, has 10,000 employees worldwide across 70 offices, and provides services to some of the world’s top video games publishers including Microsoft, Google, Sony, Nintendo, Apple, EA, Riot and Sledgehammer.

Recent titles the company has worked on include Fortnite, Age of Empires, Star Wars Jedi, Fallen Order, Valorant, League of Legends, Clash Royale and Doom Eternal.

It will open by Christmas 2022.

Keywords Studios Australia Director Tom Crago told the Department for Trade and Investment: “As a proud South Australian, I’m delighted to be part of a game development studio in Adelaide once again.

“The talent in South Australia is as good as anywhere in the world, and we look forward to growth and success from day one.”

Caption: South Australian Film Corporation Games Development Executive Pat Webb and Chantal Ryan.