Big Ant Studios makes its mark in Adelaide

06 Apr 2023
One of Australia’s largest game developers, Big Ant Studios, is making its mark in South Australia’s gaming community with the opening of its first, South Australian studio and development of a new AFL game featuring teams from both the AFL and AFLW leagues.

Founded by Ross Symons in 2001 and acquired by French digital gaming giant, Nacon in 2021, Big Ant Studios focuses on games development and Nacon on publishing and distribution.

Big Ant Studios, which aim to be the world’s largest sports games developer, has opened its studio at Franklin Street in Adelaide and aims to employ 60 people spanning roles that include junior artists, programmers, senior engineers and AI programmers. The studio will also establish a graduate training program later in 2023.

The company is currently working on the new AFL/AFLW game, due to be released in time for the Gather Round 2023 season. Big Ant Studios previously released the popular AFL Live game in 2011.

The AFL game will be available on PlayStation, Xbox and PC platforms, and will feature all 18 AFL and AWFL teams, players and grounds, including the newly introduced Norwood, Mount Barker and Alberton Ovals. All scheduled 2023 matches will be represented, including the recently announced Gather Round that will be held in Adelaide in April 2023.

The studio also has four major sports games in development, including the 2023 Rugby World Cup game, and have successfully negotiated and hold numerous major global sports licenses for video game adaption. 

Other games Big Ant Studios has in its portfolio include Cricket22 AO Tennis 2, Big Bash Boom, Rugby League Live 4 and Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom.

Big Ant Studios were attracted to South Australia through the 10 per cent South Australian Video Game Development (VGD) Rebate.

“When it comes to video game development, South Australia has an incredible pedigree, from the days of Ratbag through to the current crop of developers, it is a State that has always punched well above its weight,” said Ross Symons, Founder of Big Ant Studios.

“Big Ant Studios have been looking to harness that talent and expand into South Australia but been waiting for the right time. The announcement by the South Australian Government of the 10 per cent rebate for video game development makes South Australia incredibly attractive and competitive. 

“This support has signalled to us that South Australia is serious about the games industry, it has given us the confidence to bring our expansion plans forward, accelerating local employment and placing a major development contract in our new Adelaide studio.”

The games sector in South Australia has more than doubled its economic contribution to South Australia – up 66 per cent – between 2017-18 and 2019-20, employing 286 FTEs, and contributing $36.2 million in Industry Gross Value Added with $45.3 million of turnover or exports[1].
In Australia, game development studios generated $226.5 million of income and employed 1,327 full-time workers in 2020-21[2].
Launched in 2020, as the first of its kind in Australia, the South Australian Film Corporation’s ground-breaking South Australia Video Game Development (VGD) Rebate, enables video games studios to claim a 10 per cent rebate on costs incurred to develop a game in South Australia. This is on top of the Australian Government’s 30 per cent refundable tax offset for eligible games developers that spend a minimum of $500,000 on qualifying Australian development expenditure.
Visit for further information on South Australia’s world-class video games ecosystem.
To learn what roles are available with Big Ant Studios, visit 
To pre-register for information about the AFL game, visit