The video games industry is often a cruel mistress; the rising costs of production and development, along with uncertain global economies, has forced a number of big name studios to close their doors across the globe.
On Australian soil alone, we've seen Blue Tongue, Krome Studios, Visceral Australia and Team Bondi close their doors, along with 37 employees cut from Sega Studios Australia.
Yet Sydney-based developer Bubble Gum Interactive has managed to offer a glimmer of hope for those looking to join a studio over starting out on their own. Since the launch of their kid-centric MMO Little Space Heroes this year, the team has actually managed to expand their studio, and are currently offering more jobs for local talent.
Bubble Gum Interactive currently employ 20 people, most of them in full-time positions, and a few contractors here and there. The studio has put forward their intentions to increase that amount up to 25 by the middle of the year. That's a great expansion in under 18 months since they started this adventure.
How can they afford to do this? Little Space Heroes has been earning critical praise and awards across the globe. The game was announced for 2 Webby Awards this year, and has secured more global, independent safety and content-suitability than most other virtual worlds.
Let's not forget that Little Space Heroes is experiencing rapid growth and now has tens of thousands of kids playing every day from more than 50 countries.
Why are we reporting about this? Because it's always nice to remember that amongst studio closures and staff cuts, there is still hope out there for developers and other professionals to embrace the studio model, rather than braving it alone as an indie developer.
By Stephen Heller - Bio