Students prove they are game for success in a developing market

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday
Party Poppers received support from the Tasmanian Government through Screen Tasmania, enabling collaboration with local artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs.

Students from the University of Tasmania (UTAS) have teamed up with local game development studio Giant Margarita to launch Party Poppers on the PlayStation5. The game’s release follows the success of Party Golf and Party Crashers, showcases the vibrant talent and creativity of Tasmania’s burgeoning gaming industry.

UTAS Associate Professor and Producer at Giant Margarita, Dr Kristy de Salas, attributes the game’s unique appeal to the collaborative efforts of the university’s Games and Creative Technology program and its innovative students.

“Working with Giant Margarita provides a rare opportunity for students to gain real-world experience while still studying, which is invaluable for their future careers,” Dr de Salas says.

Associate Professor Kristy de Salas with the Party Poppers’ team at the launch – Photo credit Peter W Allen

It’s a sentiment echoed by ICT student Lindsay Mansfield.

“Being involved with the production of an actual commercially released video game as part of my degree was an invaluable learning experience and boosted my confidence to pursue a career in gaming,” she says.

From classroom to console

Giant Margarita’s games are now played by more than 100,000 people worldwide and featured in international game competitions.

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The global gaming industry is expected to generate over $200 billion in revenue by 2023. This unprecedented growth reflects broader digital entertainment trends and highlights the significant opportunities for developers in emerging markets like Tasmania.

“We want to keep Tasmania’s brightest talent in the state,” Dr de Salas says. “Successful projects like Party Golf, Party Crashers, and now Party Poppers are setting the stage for that.”

A screenshot from the new game UTAS students helped develop.
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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]