The Father of Gaming

John De Margheriti

In 1985, an entrepreneurial Uni student from Canberra dropped out of his engineering degree to co-found a computer game development studio. The studio went on to develop the technology that runs some of the world’s biggest online games.

Fast-forward to 2018 and John De Margheriti’s early passion for the gaming industry has paid off. He now heads an empire that encompasses the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE), VFX and video game development, feature film production, co-working spaces and real estate portfolio management, all from his base in Canberra.

Fresh off the plane from Los Angeles, where he has recently co-founded a film production company, John believes that he couldn’t have achieved what he has anywhere else.

“It’s so much easier to be a big fish in a small pond here in Canberra. By standing out from the crowd, we’ve been able to get a lot of government attention and support.

Twenty years ago, AIE received a $100,000 grant and the opportunity to lease out the Canberra Technology Park. That’s allowed us to create a base of operations, whilst expanding our ventures all over the world. We wouldn’t have been able to do that in any other city.

Being in Canberra also means that we have access to a great wealth of minds, through our world-class universities and education institutions. Our mission is to nurture that talent, create a centre of excellence and job creation, and establish a global leading industry from our base in Canberra. The community here is big on looking after its own and our government is very proactive in supporting people with good ideas, so it’s an exciting time to be in this space right now.”

Student work depicted in video (a short animated film called Out of Gas) by Ivan Barbarich, Jesse Cohen, Jonathan Denny, Ghazal Saeid, Bryan Botterill, James Stewart, Andy Nguyen and Nathan Landman.

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John De Margheriti