Big Ant Studios Pty Ltd is an Australian video game developer based in Melbourne. Founded in 2001 by chief executive officer Ross Symons, the company specialises in the development of sports games. Big Ant's games include Cricket 22, Rugby League Live 4,[1] AFL Live,[2][3] AFL 23,[4]Cricket 24 and the upcoming Rugby 24 and Tie Break: Official Game of the ATP and WTA.

Big Ant Studios Pty Ltd
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded2001; 23 years ago (2001)
FounderRoss Symons
Headquarters,
Australia
Key people
Ross Symons (CEO)
Number of employees
95
ParentNacon (2021–present)
Websitebigant.com

History edit

The studio was founded in 2001 and was originally named Bull Ant Studios, but renamed as "it was getting mispronounced all around the world because they don’t have bull ants", according to Ross Symons. The studio initially worked primarily as a "studio for hire" with publishers such as THQ and Konami before moving towards sports games. Symons has explained this move on the basis that "Sport is renewable. There’s always a sequel. There’s always another season”.[5]

The studio's first sports game was Australian rules football title AFL Live, released in 2011, for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.[2] The studio has since gone to make further Australian rules football games, as well as rugby league,[1] cricket,[6] lacrosse[7] and tennis[8] titles.

In January 2021, French video game publisher Nacon acquired Big Ant for €35 million.[9] Symons has commented on his ambition "to grow Big Ant Studios into the largest developer of sports entertainment software in the world", and increase staff numbers from 66 (as of April 2022) to 200.[10]

In April 2023, Big Ant opened a second studio in Adelaide.[11]

Games developed edit

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher Notes Ref
2006 Sprint Cars: Road to Knoxville Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 THQ [12]
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Game Boy Advance Vivendi Universal Games[a] Developed with Krome Studios [13]
2007 The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night PlayStation 2, Wii [14]
2008 Hellboy: The Science of Evil PlayStation Portable Konami [15]
Sprint Cars 2: Showdown at Eldora PlayStation 2 THQ [16]
2009 Short Track Racing: Trading Paint [17]
2010 Rugby League Live Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Tru Blu Entertainment [18]
World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 THQ [19]
Truth or Lies PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 [20][21]
2011 AFL Live Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Tru Blu Entertainment [2]
Pirate Blast Wii Zoo Games [22]
2012 Rugby League Live 2 iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Tru Blu Entertainment [23]
Jetpack Joyride PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita Big Ant Studios Port [24]
2013 Fruit Ninja PlayStation Vita [25]
2014 Don Bradman Cricket 14 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Tru Blu Entertainment [3]
Jetpack Joyride Deluxe PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita Big Ant Studios Port [26]
2015 Rugby League Live 3 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Tru Blu Entertainment [27]
TableTop Cricket Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Big Ant Studios [28]
2016 Big Bash Cricket Android, iOS Cricket Australia [29]
Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Big Ant Studios [7]
Don Bradman Cricket 17 PlayStation 4, Xbox One Tru Blu Entertainment [30]
Jetpack Joyride PlayStation 4 Big Ant Studios Port [31]
Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [32]
2017 Ashes Cricket PlayStation 4, Xbox One [33]
Rugby League Live 4 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Tru Blu Entertainment [1]
2018 AO International Tennis Big Ant Studios [34]
AO Tennis Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One [35]
Big Bash Boom Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One [36]
Casey Powell Lacrosse 18 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One [37]
2019 Cricket 19 Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One [38]
2020 AO Tennis 2 Amazon Luna, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Nacon [39]
Tennis World Tour 2 [40]
2021 The Hundred Mobile Android, iOS [41]
Cricket 22 Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S The Nintendo Switch release was delayed to April 2022[42] [43]
2023 AFL 23 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S [4]
Cricket 24 Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S [44]
Tiebreak: Official Game of the ATP and WTA Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S [45]
2024 Rugby 24 [46]

Advocacy edit

Symons opined in a 2016 Australian Financial Review piece that interns should be properly compensated for their work.[47] Big Ant Studios joined the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) in December 2015.[48] Symons made a presentation on the games industry challenges and opportunities to the Australian government's new Parliamentary Friends of Video Games group.[49] In 2021 Symons was added to the IGEA's board of directors.[50]

Big Ant Studios sponsors the women's team at the Carlton Football Club.[51]

Notes edit

  1. ^ Released under the Sierra Entertainment brand name

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Rugby League Live 4 Review – Improvements All Round". Press Start. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b c AFL Live Review – IGN, retrieved 26 January 2021
  3. ^ a b Don Bradman Cricket 14 Review – IGN, retrieved 26 January 2021
  4. ^ a b Cellini, Aidan (6 May 2023). "AFL23 game: Release date, price, consoles, team ratings, player ratings, modes, commentators". The Sporting News. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  5. ^ Byrne, Seamus (14 May 2020). "Ross Symons, Big Ant Studios". Byteside. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  6. ^ Cricket 19 Review – IGN, retrieved 26 January 2021
  7. ^ a b "Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 Video Game Set For March Release". Inside Lacrosse. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  8. ^ Square, Push (5 December 2017). "AO Tennis Takes a Shot at PS4 in Time for the Australian Open". Push Square. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Nacon Acquires AO Tennis, Cricket 19 Developer Big Ant". IGN. 22 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Big Ant Studios turbocharges plans to become the world's largest sport games developer". www.austrade.gov.au. 27 April 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  11. ^ Tran, Edmond (6 April 2023). "Big Ant opens new studio in South Australia". GamesHub. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Sprint Cars: Road to Knoxville Review". IGN. 29 July 2006. Archived from the original on 25 July 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  13. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  14. ^ "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night Review". IGN. 20 November 2007. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Hellboy: The Science of Evil Review". IGN. 28 June 2008. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Sprint Cars 2: Showdown at Eldora Review". IGN. 11 April 2008. Archived from the original on 25 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  17. ^ Short Track Racing: Trading Paint - IGN, retrieved 9 October 2021
  18. ^ "Rugby League Live Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  19. ^ "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars | Great Games". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  20. ^ "Truth or Lies Review". IGN. 29 September 2010. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Truth or Lies for Xbox 360 - GameFAQs". gamefaqs.gamespot.com. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  22. ^ "Prepare for Swashbuckling Adventure as Zoo Games Unveils Pirate Blast for Nintendo Wii™". www.businesswire.com. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  23. ^ "Rugby League Live 2 Review". IGN. 26 October 2012. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  24. ^ "PlayStation Store Update". PlayStation.Blog. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  25. ^ "The Drop: Week of August 12th 2013 New Releases". PlayStation.Blog. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  26. ^ "The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 11/25/2014". PlayStation.Blog. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  27. ^ "Rugby League Live 3 Review". IGN. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  28. ^ "Tabletop Cricket | Great Games". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  29. ^ "Big Bash Cricket | Great Games". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Don Bradman Cricket 17 – is back; bigger and better than ever!". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  31. ^ "Jetpack Joyride arrives on PlayStation 4 | Great Games". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  32. ^ Square, Push (4 May 2016). "Review: Masquerade: The Baubles of Doom (PS4)". Push Square. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  33. ^ "Ashes Cricket | Great Games". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  34. ^ Mazique, Brian. "'AO International Tennis' Review: The Good, The Bad And The Bottom Line". Forbes. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  35. ^ "AO Tennis Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Big Bash Boom | Great Games". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  37. ^ "Casey Powell Lacrosse 18 | Great Games". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Cricket 19 – The Official Game of the Ashes – OUT NOW – Big Ant Studios". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  39. ^ "Introducing AO Tennis 2". www.bigant.com. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  40. ^ Square, Push (28 July 2021). "Review: Tennis World Tour 2 (PS4) - A Winner". Push Square. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  41. ^ @BigAntStudios (12 August 2021). "Play The Hundred on mobile now! For FREE! Cricket fans, have we got a surprise for you! The official @ECB_cricket The Hundred game is now on your mobile platform of choice. Grab it now - just search for "The Hundred Game" in your applicable App Store!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  42. ^ Symons, Ross (17 March 2022). "Nintendo Switch #Cricket22 Update - there will be a revised date of 28 April 2022. The good news is the game has been manufactured, the bad news is that we are facing very long delays in shipping due to Covid, and units must be at retailers two weeks in advance of sale". Twitter. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  43. ^ "Cricket 22 Announced, Includes Big Bash, The Hundred, and More". IGN. 6 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  44. ^ Reilly, Luke (4 April 2023). "Cricket 24 Announced, Will Include 'More Licenses Than Any Cricket Game Ever'". IGN. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  45. ^ "NACON Connect 2023: Lord of the Rings & more: All announcements at a glance". Gamingdeputy. 10 March 2023.
  46. ^ "Rugby 24 game release date delay, platforms, and latest news". VideoGamer.com. 31 August 2023. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
  47. ^ "Video game companies must start paying interns for fairness and good business". Australian Financial Review. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  48. ^ "Big Ant Studios Join The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association". IGEA. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  49. ^ Maxwell, Jini. "First Look at the Parliamentary Friends of Video Games". screenhub Australia. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  50. ^ "Welcome to our new members and welcome to 2021". IGEA. 15 January 2021. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  51. ^ "Big Ant becomes Platinum Partner". www.carltonfc.com.au. Retrieved 31 January 2021.

External links edit