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Locals part of gaming revolution
Locals part of gaming revolution

It's like a mini Silicon Valley.

In front of computer screens across suburban Perth, small groups of young professionals are climbing aboard the mobile gaming/app revolution.

And some are making more than a decent living out of it.

"After one look at the app store's first sales report we knew the future was mobile apps - and we've been working exclusively in that space ever since," Simon Edis, one half of Ezone.com, said, describing the day after Apple's app store opened in July 2008.

Since that watershed day Mr Edis and his brother Jamie have created more than 50 apps for tablets, iPhones and iPads from their Nedlands and York home studios under their Ezone.com moniker.

Ranging from worldwide number one hit novelties such as Crazy Lighter - a digital flame on a screen - to mobile game Crazy Snowboard (which has notched up more than 15 million downloads) the brothers have well and truly made their mark on the expanding worldwide app scene.

Ranging from free versions to 99ยข downloads, the mobile gaming business has evolved into a booming industry littered with overnight multimillionaires.

The Edis brothers prefer not to give out their net operating profit, but both confirmed they were making a "comfortable" living doing something they loved.

For other Perth-based game developers, like 32-year-old software developer Brad Power, creating games is more of a hobby moulded around a day job.

As one fifth of Perth-based development company RocketHands, Mr Power has created obstacle games RocketFuse and SpaceCrash for the iPhone and Halogen for iPad - an air hockey/space invaders game. He said Perth's games community had grown rapidly over the past few years. "There is a lot of talent, passion, and enthusiasm for games development in Perth - it's a very good time to be in this industry."

Andy Hawkins, 42, from DrewFX has been creating games for nearly 30 years.

He said the innovation of Let's Make Games - a local organisation dedicated to supporting Perth's 30-odd game development companies - had helped the local scene grow.

For Ballajura resident Matt Comi, game development has evolved into his full-time job. The 29-year-old's paid apps have been downloaded more than 200,000 times.

"I got a real thrill from seeing people download and enjoy using my software," he said.

He said there were many success stories out of Perth and the future of the industry looked bright.

Looking into the future Perth scene and around the world, Simon Edis sees gaming in one word: mobile. "As mobile devices become more and more powerful we will see the death of game consoles like Playstation, XBox and Wii," he said.

"Instead of needing a console, all games will be run on phones and tablets with the ability to stream the video to a bigger screen."