The NEXT Exhibit team has today announced the new initiative has received crucial seed funding, ensuring the Exhibit will occur in the main concourse of PAX Aus 2018.
NEXT is an exciting new showcase highlighting the work of queer, disabled, PoC and otherwise underrepresented developers at the forefront of a new frontier of interactive art.
Ross Symons of Big Ant Studios, the Premium Sponsor behind the NEXT Exhibit, said, “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.”
Additional support has come in from Australian games stalwart Defiant Development. Kim Allom, Studio Manager, added, “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.”
NEXT is also supported by IGEA, Game As You Are (Trade Media) and mentorship program The Working Lunch.
NEXT Exhibit offers the opportunity for underrepresented developers from across the globe to have their games shown for free – inclusive of furnishing, technology, booth staff, marketing and press outreach – in one of the highest traffic areas of the largest single audience of passionate games fans in the Southern Hemisphere.
Created by Ally McLean, founder of The Working Lunch, Liam Esler, cofounder of GX Australia, and contributed to by Jay Justice, an outspoken POC, LGBTQIA+ and disability advocate, NEXT is a collaboration with PAX Australia to help strengthen the message of representation and inclusion at Australia’s largest and most successful gaming convention.
Luke Lancaster, PAX Australia Content Manager concluded adding, “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.” -.
The NEXT jury have put the call out for developers to submit their games now, before applications close JULY 31, 5:00PM AEST. Developers can apply using this form.