Today the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) announced the winners of the 2023 Australian Game Developer Awards at the Forum Melbourne. Receiving high praise from an expert panel of over 80 judges, Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical by Summerfall Studios not only took the coveted Game of the Year Award, but also the Excellence in Music and Accessibility Awards, exemplifying that great games are accessible to all players. The ambitious project features an all-star cast, and the judges felt the game set a benchmark for music design in games.

Hosted by Good Game Spawn Point host Gemma Driscoll and ABC Gamer Loot Drop host Harry Jun, the AGDA’s award ceremony was held as part of Melbourne International Games Week (MIGW) and was the Grand Finale to the Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) conference. The AGDAs highlight Australian creative and technical talent and shines a light on emerging developers and artists, whilst also showcasing the many successes of the local video game industry.

The AGDAs also feature a series of culture awards. This year The Studio of the Year was awarded to PlaySide Studios. From its foundation 12 years ago, PlaySide Studios is Australia’s largest publicly listed independent video game developer. It aims to foster a strong culture amongst its 260 staff working across its studios and remotely. Amongst several cultural initiatives, it runs a mentorship program, and has taken steps to ensure a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace.

This year’s Adam Lancman Award goes to Trent Kusters, Director and Co-Founder of League of Geeks (the 2020 Studio of the Year winner). Trent continuously goes above and beyond to raise other people up in the industry and support independent game makers. He is a fantastic force for good within the industry and a great ambassador for the Australian games industry locally and abroad.

This year sees two recipients of The Empower Award. Dylan Bennett has been a catalyst for the growth and advancement of the video game industry in the Northern Territory by organising groups and events, sharing his own game development experience and is an advocate for the Northern Territory video game industry. Caitlin Lomax is a highly active member of the Western Australian Games community, organising the WA Games Week, writing the playbook for Screenwest to develop and fund the game development industry of the state, and personally training and educating teenagers and university students interested in games industry jobs amongst numerous other activities.

Ryan Penning, the creator of Waypoint, has made a significant impact on the Sydney game development community and is the recipient of this year’s Rising Star Award. Ryan’s dedication to providing a platform for emerging talent to showcase their projects is one of Ryan’s most significant contributions through Waypoint. He organises events that bring local developers and studios together, opening doors for aspiring game creators to present their work directly to industry professionals.

Thanks to sponsorship from Creative Victoria, a MIGW Award was provided this year to a Victorian digital games studio. Congratulations to O’Sauraus Studios, who will receive mentorship, enterprise support, resources and connections to grow their business.

Please see the full list of 2023 Australian Game Developer Award winners below.

Excellence in ART

  • The Master’s Pupil by Pat Naoum

Excellence in GAMEPLAY

  • Moving Out 2 by SMG Studio, Team17

Excellence in NARRATIVE

  • Amarantus by ub4q

Excellence in SOUND DESIGN

  • Gubbins by Studio Folly

Excellence in MUSIC

  • Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical by Summerfall Studios


  • Phantom Abyss by Team WIBY


  • Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical by Summerfall Studios

Excellence in EMERGING GAMES

  • Partum Artifex by DalaKoala Games


  • Earthlingo by Earthlingo

Excellence in MOBILE GAMES

  • My Little Pony: Mane Merge by Gameloft Brisbane

Excellence in AR/VR Games

  • Espire 2: Stealth Operatives by Digital Lode Immersive Media

Excellence in ONGOING Games

  • Wylde Flowers by Studio Drydock


  • Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical by Summerfall Studios

Media spokespeople available:

  • Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA

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Comments (1)


9M ago

I always love seeing Aussie games, especially when they do well! There have been surprisingly lots in recent years!