SXSW Sydney Makes First Games Announcement

June 20, 2023

As one of the world’s most exciting and innovative industries, Games will be a key element of SXSW Sydney 2023. After all, this is an industry that in only a few decades has grown to be one of the biggest on the planet.

There’s plenty to dig into: we’re playing host to the Intel® Extreme Masters, announcing locking in some games to appear in for our showcase, and taking you through everything that the Games Festival will have to offer.

SXSW Sydney will be your place to explore the energetic present and mind-bending future of the industry, offering a huge range of experiences from indie and XR showcases and hands-on presentations, boundary-pushing panels and discussions, playthroughs, product launches and so much more.

Sounds like a lot, right? Well it is, so get excited! Hold our hand, take a deep breath, and let’s get stuck into what you can experience in the Games industry at SXSW Sydney.

Say Hello To The SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival

Like the SXSW Sydney Screen and Music Festivals, the Games Festival will explore every corner of the Games industry across the Asia-Pacific and beyond. Multiple venues across the SXSW Sydney precinct will be activated, with spaces to showcase the current trends and creators changing the game, plus the future of what the Games industry could become.

Whether you’re interested in game development, publishing, distribution, the nuts and bolts of hardware, or want to learn how to connect with fans and consumers – the SXSW Sydney Games Festival is your home base.

One of the centerpieces of the Festival will be the Games Festival Stage, which will host numerous live performances, gameplay, demos, and more, giving you the chance to witness the best of the best, right up close and personal.

We’re Welcoming The Intel® Extreme Masters

In even more exciting news, SXSW Sydney can reveal that the Games Festival will also play host to the world’s longest-running international pro-gaming tournament: the Intel® Extreme Masters.

The world’s best esports teams will compete over three packed days in the epic Intel® Extreme Masters Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament. The battle will take over the Aware Super Theatre in the SXSW Sydney event precinct from October 20th to 22nd.

Running alongside the tournament as part of the SXSW Sydney Tech & Innovation Expo, the Intel® Extreme Masters Expo will bring fans plenty of activations, games and hardware demos from brands like Intel®, Monster and more.

This is the World Cup of Games – and you don’t want to miss it.

The Games Industry Conference Track Will Open Your Mind

The SXSW Sydney Conference will be welcoming leaders and game-changers from all of our key industries in October, and Games is no different. The SXSW Sydney Conference will feature numerous speakers from across the Games space – from developers and ground-breakers to Chief Product Officers at some of the world’s biggest Games companies. They’ll dive headfirst into the Games industry’s incredible rise, discuss the role of storytelling and design into the future, and much more.

A couple of these speakers have already been announced: in February, we revealed that BAFTA-award-winning developer and founder of Half Mermaid Productions Sam Barlow would be joining us at the Conference. We’re also bringing in Tom Verrilli, Chief Product Officer at Twitch.

But Wait, There’s More

The SXSW Sydney Games Festival will feature a huge variety of different areas and spaces, each devoted to a different niche of the industry.

There’s the Games Festival Showcase, which will platform 150 independent games from across the APAC region. Then there’s the Social Hub, which will serve as the epicentre for the Games Festival – featuring a bar, stage, LAN room, and plenty of spaces to network and connect.

There’ll also be an XR Showcase to highlight virtual and augmented reality projects, a Tabletop Hub which will be home to Sydney’s diehard tabletop Games community, investment meets student showcases, a Creator Content stage that will host a marathon charity stream, and so, so much more.

For more information about what the Games Festival has in store, head over to the Games Festival page.

Games Showcase Submissions Are Now Open

Now is your chance to be a part of it all, as submissions for the SXSW Sydney Games Showcase are open now. Entry is open to all unpublished titles, or titles that have been released by an independent studio no earlier than 1 January 2021. Every accepted game will have their booth and hardware provided for free. All games, platforms, and genres will be considered!

For more information on Games submissions, head over here. And hurry: submissions will close on Wednesday, August 16, 2023 at 11:59pm AEDT.

And We’ve Already Locked In Our First Handful Of Showcase Games

We’re very pleased to reveal ten new Australian indie games that will be showcased at the SXSW Sydney Games Festival. Let’s get to know them!

Birth – Madison Karrh

A solo developer making personal, macabre games, Karrh mixes playful physics puzzles with a delicate hand-drawn art style in her semi-autobiographical work. Her most recent release, Birth, is a game about living alone in a large city in which you will build a partner from spare bones and organs to quell your loneliness.

Fractured Core – Engram Interactive

From the small indie studio in Bali, Fractured Core is a turn-based RPG set in 2105 Germany.

Gubbins – Studio Folly

Gubbins is a puzzle-directed game that encourages players to place tiles and construct words, guided by a mischievous gang of friends, called Gubbins. Created by Melbourne-based Studio Folly co-founders, Jessica Shipard and Darcy Smith, this one is for the puzzle-lovers and wordsmiths alike.

Knuckle Sandwich – Andy Brophy

Knuckle Sandwich is the brainchild of Melbourne developer Andy Brophy. Players are responsible for guiding their character through Bright City, a place that holds a dark secret. You’ll make friends, find a job, and try to solve the mystery of a fanatical cult.

Repella Fella – Phill Collins

From solo developer, Phill, Repella Fella is a post-apocalyptic comedy-drama set in a futuristic Australia where three characters work towards a better life. Phill is best known for the ‘Ray’ flash series that has earned tens of millions of plays online.

Surf Club – Olivia Haines

Melbourne-based Olivia Haines’ first commercial game follows Holly, a woman in her early twenties, who returns to her hometown to rekindle an old relationship. She is swept up in nostalgia and blurs the lines between the present day and past memories as she explores the seaside town and reconnects with the locals.

The Chef’s Shift – Panitia GameDev

From this small group of independent developers who meet online on GameJam+, this is a fast-paced typing game in a restaurant setting, where you’ll cook and serve food to hungry customers, all by typing.

The Godfeather – Hojo Studio

Sydney-based Hojo Studio is back with its most recent rogue-like development, The Godfeather, which follows the story of a mafia pigeon.

The Master’s Pupil – Pat Naoum

Pat Naoum presents his first full game following eight years of study and development in game design. Informed by the Sydney-raised indie gamers’ graphic design background, The Master’s Pupil is set inside a human eye.

Wood & Weather – Paper House

This small, Melbourne-based developer is inspired by the world directly around it. Wood & Weather is a single player god-game set in a wooden toy city. Make friends and control the weather as an ethereal blue hand in a surprising little open world.

Don’t Miss Out On The Games Event Of The Year

The SXSW Sydney Games Festival is going to be massive, so don’t miss out on your chance to experience it all.

If you purchase your Badge now you’ll end up saving hundreds of dollars – up to $200 on Industry Badges and up to $400 on Platinum, when compared to our final release Badge prices. It really does pay to get in early.

Head here to buy your Badge now – and if you’re unsure which badge is right for you, read this handy explainer.

SXSW Sydney badges provide access to the week-long conference, expo, festivals and networking sessions; more than 1,000 ground-breaking events overall, featuring leading thinkers, performers and industry professionals. If you’re after primary access to all programming, the Platinum badge is for you. Industry badges (e.g. the Games Badge) will secure primary access to all conference events and also aspects of the Games Festival including talks, panels and workshops to showcases, launches and parties.

Now, in connection with ESL, SXSW Sydney 2023 Platinum (A$1,495) and Games (A$1,095) badge holders can also access all three days of IEM. An allocation of seats in the Aware Super Theatre will be set aside each day for SXSW Sydney badge holders. Learn more and buy at

Conversely, tickets to IEM Sydney 2023 offer access to the SXSW Sydney 2023 Tech & Innovation Expo, including the IEM Expo within it. 3-day General Admission tickets are available from A$159, with GA Plus (A$199), Premium (A$279) and ‘God Mode’ (A$1,399) ticket types also available.

SXSW Sydney will take place at venues across central Sydney from October 15 to 22.