Type of site
|Gaming & Entertainment|
|Owner||Guy "Yug" Blomberg & Matt Burgess|
|Created by||Guy "Yug" Blomberg & Matt Burgess|
Australian Gamer is a video gaming website that focuses on the gaming scene in Australia. It was created in 2005 by gaming friends Matt Burgess and Guy "Yug" Blomberg in order to give Australia a voice within the gaming world after the release of Dance Dance Revolution was cancelled in Australia; Australia is notoriously neglected when it comes to video game releases. The site previously featured a semi-regular Penny-Arcade style comic update illustrated by Guy Blomberg and is accompanied by a "rant" by Matt Burgess on the same topic. A weekly podcast frequently follows the post as well as a community-based debate in the site's forum which discuss a variety of topics including the apparently obvious topic of the state of gaming in Australia, as well as gaming in general. The forums however are renowned amongst fans of the site for both their total lack of professionalism and dignity as well as deep, thoughtful discussions.
Australian Gamer started out when Yug and Matt wanted to play Dance Dance Revolution for the Xbox and noticed that the release date for Australia kept getting pushed back until it was wiped off of the release schedule. Yug and Matt decided to create an Australian-based website to voice their opinions via podcasts.
In May 2012, Gameplanet acquired AustralianGamer and redirected the domain to the Australian Gameplanet domain.
Australian Gamer produces a weekly (though not so much these days) podcast covering the latest news and goings on in the game world and gaming in Australia. It is now one of the longest running gaming podcasts in Australia. The podcast is wholly produced and hosted by Guy Blomberg and Matt Burgess, also known as Yug and Matt, and frequently features guests from the local gaming industry. The pair have interviewed developers and producers from companies such as Irrational Games (now 2K Australia), Krome Studios, Auran, THQ Studio Australia, The Creative Assembly and Lava Injection (now Game Audio Australia). The pair also had the opportunity to interview Uwe Boll on his game-based movie Postal .
The Sydney Morning Herald has referred to the podcast as "an influential podcast on gaming", and Sumea, Australia's leading gaming industry resource said, "they're the Roy and H.G. of gaming", and produce not only the best local gaming podcast around, but is up there with the best the rest of the world has to offer". In November 2006 the podcast was listed as one of iTunes Music Store's featured podcasts for Australia, prominently joining ABC Radio and the National Geographic Podcast.
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw is occasionally featured on the podcasts, as a recurring guest.
Australian Gamer has become somewhat infamous in the local industry as being outspoken and controversial. Most recently they brought attention to the fact that the winners of the 2007 Game1 LAN gaming competitions had not received their prize money. After Australian Gamer writer and LAN competitor Andrew Starkey brought it to attention that the winners had been waiting well over a month for payments, the issue suddenly gained attention from other gaming websites, including Kotaku. Shortly afterwards, the GAME1 prize money was paid at last.
In addition, the site has come under fire for a comic strip making light of the death of famed World Rally Champion Colin McRae. The comic depicted a mock game cover and the title “Colin McRae Helicopter Racing”. The controversy was not limited to just the Australian Gamer site, when several local gaming news identities spoke of their disapproval of the comic.
Earlier in 2007, writer AJ had a public debate with BigPond’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Craig Middleton over the terms and conditions of a gaming promotion, Project Joystick. AJ took exception to the fact that BigPond would take ownership of the top 10 finalists’ Intellectual Property and what followed became something of a public slanging match. This generated a large amount of discussion in the local industry with Independent Game Development site Sumea  and respected gaming site PALGN  picking up the story. Australian video game magazine, Hyper (produced by Next Media Pty Ltd), carried an editorial on the subject, including quotes from AJ and Craig Middleton's online discussion.
Matt and Yug of Australian Gamer have hosted and MC'd several gaming events including the annual Game1 events in Melbourne and Sydney, the Victorian Government sponsored eGames in 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as GO3 2006 in Perth.