NEXT Exhibit secures funding for PAX Aus

After quite a lead-up, the NEXT Exhibition has secured funding to be able to show off their exhibit at PAX Australia 2018. The NEXT Exhibit was set up as a way to showcase games from minority developers, queer, persons of colour, disabled, and otherwise under-represented game creators who might not otherwise have such a large platform to display their games.

The exhibit is the brain child of Ally McLean, founder of The Working Lunch, and Liam Esler, co-founder of GX Australia, along with contributions by Jay Justice, a disability and LGBTQIA+ advocate. Together, they’ve created the exhibit not only as a way to show off developers who may otherwise miss out, but to also strengthen PAX Australia’s message of inclusion and representation.

Previously, games of these kinds have had the chance to be shown off in the ever popular Diversity Lounge, but this is the first year they’ll have their own space to work with, meaning more games than ever will be shown to the public.

Luke Lancaster, the PAX Aus content manager, had the following to say about the exhibition:

“For the past five years, PAX Aus has had the privilege of serving as a platform for some of the most innovative work from game developers the world over. This year we’re incredibly proud to extend that tradition by hosting NEXT, an exhibit that will connect tens of thousands of PAX attendees with the vital, creative, and unforgettable work of developers no less deserving of the spotlight.”

Additional support has come from all over, with established developers lending their support as sponsors. Big Ant Studios is one of those names, with Ross Symons saying:

“At Big Ant Studios we’re passionate about great games. NEXT is a fantastic opportunity for developers making exciting and innovative titles to find their audience. We’re proud to contribute to making that possible by coming on board as Premium Sponsor, and we look forward to seeing the Exhibit come to life at PAX Aus.”

There was also Defiant Development, with studio manager Kim Allom saying,

“It’s tough trying to stand out from the crowd as an indie developer. Sometimes spruiking your game at a tradeshow is the only way to get noticed but you may not have the time or money to do so. NEXT is not only opening doors for devs in this very situation but it spotlights those who are largely underrepresented. We at Defiant are strong advocates for new voices in game development, and are delighted to support NEXT in order to help them find a platform and their voice.”

Even IGEA, the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association is on board, along with Game As You Are and The Working Lunch mentorship program.

PAX Aus is scheduled for October 26th – 28th, and if you’re a minority developer who wants their game featured at the NEXT Exhibition, applications are still open. But get in quick, they close 5pm July 31st! You can get the form here.

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