Melbourne Hipsters Top The US Charts With Disney Partnership

17 April 2016

Victorian-made games are making waves across the globe with Melbourne studio Hipster Whale’s latest title Disney Crossy Road hitting the number one slot on the US iPad and iPhone charts in its first day of release.

A collaboration with entertainment giant Disney, the mobile game is a fresh take on Hipster Whale’s 2014 title Crossy Road and sees players try to safely navigate much-loved Disney characters across a series of roads, rivers, train tracks and more.

Hipster Whale was formed by Victorian game developers Matt Hall and Andy Sum in 2014. Crossy Road, their first project, quickly gained global attention and cast the eyes of the gaming world on the duo.

Crossy Road has since been downloaded more than 125 million times and leading games companies have come knocking.

First, Japanese games publisher Bandai Namco approached the company to create a new version of PAC-MAN for the game’s 35th anniversary.

The Disney project came next prompting a development phase that saw the studio reach out to local games talent.

Hipster Whale teamed up with independent studio Mighty Games to produce the title in partnership with Disney. Both companies work out of The Arcade, a Southbank co-working space for the games sector.

The project saw a collective of Melbourne-based independent designers, coders, developers and artists working together for 12 months on the project.

This chart-topping news comes just a month after a delegation of Victorian game developers and designers – including Hipster Whale and Mighty Games representatives – travelled to San Francisco to represent the sector at the world’s largest game event, the Game Developers Conference.

The 57-strong delegation was led by Creative Victoria and saw local companies and games representatives meeting with leading publishers and potential partners from across the globe.

Early feedback has been positive, indicating many more international collaborations are in store for Victorian companies in future.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

Victoria is a hub for Australia’s digital games industry, and our games sector is a key contributor to the state’s $23 billion creative economy.”

“It’s wonderful to see a local studio gaining international acclaim for a game that is made here in Melbourne and showcases the creative and technical talents of our local games sector.”

“Partnerships like this stimulate jobs and international investment to our state while creating some incredible titles for people the world over to enjoy.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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