Australia is a large island country south-east of Asia. Known for its vast tracts of relatively barren land and a relatively low population of under 25 million people, Australia nevertheless has a video game industry worth over $1 billion annually.
Australian video gaming has its dates as far back as 1978, when the first Australian developer, Beam Software, was founded. For a period of time, a company named Ozisoft represented a number of Japanese companies in the region, including Sega and Namco. Since then, however, most major publishers have shifted to directly distributing their products themselves in Australia.
Australians tend to enjoy PC and mobile games more than their American and Japanese counterparts, much like many European countries. Historically, Australians are more likely on average to buy Sega hardware than Nintendo hardware, in a trend dating back to the Sega Master system. However, like in much of the rest of the world, the Nintendo Revolution caught up with Sega's equivalent hardware, the Pluto, in recent years.
Per capita, Australia are one of the leading consumers of video games in the world. As of 2010, only the United Kingdom spends more per capita, and even then only by a few dollars. This makes Australia a proportionately bigger spender on games than the United States and Japan, the de facto gaming capitols of the world.
Though most of the world's major development of games happens in Japan, North America, and Europe, Australia is the site of some video game development. These include Blue Tongue, a component of THQ responsible for the de Blob series, Halfbrick, a mobile game developer, Krome, which released a series of games entitles Ty the Tasmanian Tiger during the sixth generation of consoles, and Torus, a maker of various licensed games.
Despite the prominence of video games in Australian society, censorship of games is more common here than in most developed markets. The lack of an "Adult" or "Mature" rating means that many games are either banned from being sold in the country or have to be modified when being localized. This includes such popular games as the Grand Theft Auto and Left 4 Dead series. Although this measure is unpopular among the Australian public, gaming has not yet become a large enough issue in many peoples' minds in order to lessen regulations.