Big Ant opens new studio in South Australia

Australian developer Big Ant, a name synonymous with sports games, has opened up a second development studio in Adelaide, South Australia.
Big Ant Studios

Big Ant Studios, the Australian development house known for its sports games, has opened up a new studio in Adelaide, South Australia.

According to a press release from the Government of South Australia, the studio will employ over 60 people in roles that includes both junior and senior responsibilities, with plans for a graduate training program to kick off in 2023.

Big Ant is synonymous with Australian sport, and builds its games on a proprietary in-house engine. The studio is currently in the midst of creating AFL 23, a game that incorporates both the AFL and AFLW (Australian Football League and Australian Football League Women’s) as well as the official video game for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The company recently announced Cricket 24: Official Game of the Ashes. It reportedly also has a fourth major sports game in development, at the time of writing.

Previously, Big Ant has released official sports games like AO (Australian Open) International Tennis and its sequel, several official cricket games, and Casey Powell’s Lacrosse 18 – a sport that certainly has its cult audience in North America.

The Adelaide studio will likely aid Big Ant’s never-ending slate of games that keeps Australia’s favourite sports in the mind of players around the world. Big Ant’s original studio is based in Melbourne, and currently employs approximately 70 people.

It was founded in 2001 by Ross Symons, and acquired by French publisher Nacon (formerly Bigben Interactive) in 2021. Nacon also owns studios such as Daedalic Entertainment (The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Deponia) and Spiders (Greedfall, Steelrising).

The new Big Ant studio was no doubt established to take advantage of the South Australian government’s progressive approach to local video game development – the state was the first in Australia to introduce a tax rebate specifically for video game development.

South Australia’s 10% rebate can also be utilised on top of the Australian Government’s Digital Games Tax Offset, which applies a 30% tax rebate nationwide, for developers who expend over AUD $500,000 a year.

‘When it comes to video game development, South Australia has an incredible pedigree,’ said Ross Symons, in a statement. ‘From the days of Ratbag through to the current crop of developers, it is a State that has always punched well above its weight.’

Adelaide is also home to developers like Mighty Kingdom (Star Trek: Lower Decks) and Team Cherry (Hollow Knight).

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran