Australian Government To Invest $20 Million In Local Games Development

Arts Minister Simon Crean has announced that the Australian government is committing $20 million of Federal funds to games development in Australia over the next three years.

The Australian Interactive Games Fund is intended to help support and grow the burgeoning local development scene during a difficult period.

"Australian games studios are recognised internationally for their skill and originality in developing interactive games played all over the world, but the local industry is coming under increased pressure in the midst of a major market shift," said Crean, as reported by Gamespot.

"This is a substantial investment to foster this growing sector where artists, musicians, writers, performers, and software developers collaborate to meet the local and global demand for interactive entertainment and education."

$5 million will be available during the first two years of the program, a figure that doubles to $10 million in 2014-2015.

Specific details are scarce, but it's the responsibility of Screen Australia to help administer and distribute the funds. Hopefully we'll have more information soon.

Tony Reed, CEO of the Game Developers' Association of Australia was delighted with the news.

"We look forward to working with the federal government to create a program that supports growth and stability, secures jobs, encourages innovation and creativity, and promotes investment in Australian talent and capability globally," he said.

Australian govt pledges $20m to home-grown game development [Gamespot]



      All over this biz! Cmon Screen Aus, hit me with them deets!

    I'm disappointed he didn't announce this with a rap.

      Thank god!! That rap was horrid

    Yay! My future career opportunities are hopefully growing!! Let's just hope this does actually do some good and doesn't get dropped once I finished my double degree.

    By what means? To whom? To what end?

    Good. Australia needs to support its software industry. If all goes well, the government will make a profit off this investment tenfold.

      How will they? What if they don't? Should the governments by extension make 'profits' in the first place?

        Proof that they are wasting money in the wrong industry. They have given billions to our major Manufacturing industry to hold it up a few more years, our Software Industry exports more money than the car industry anyways, so the government need to know where the money is at. Right now Canada knew it could go big on the game industry and they are laughing, Israel saw that major western nations have dropped programming education in school and that their software industries will suffer badly from it, so mandatory programming courses and major investment has created the fastest growing IT sector.

        that 200 million that was given to Holden should of went to IT, and no doubt more jobs will be created then will be saved from it.

    I think he means the general profit of jobs, growth, etc

    This is good news, hopefully the process and requirements to get some of the money isn't too convoluted.

    Will $20 million over the next 3-4 years be enough though? That's the question. It'll no doubt help some struggling smaller studios, but what about the struggling larger ones? I can't help but wonder if stuff like tax breaks like what Canada have done might be a better option.

    On a side note, why does Simon Crean look like he just inhaled someone's fart in that photo?

    Last edited 15/11/12 10:30 am

      Tax breaks would have been a much better option in my opinion.

      Why? Because your helping the industry as a whole rather then a select few getting grants and run no risk of giving money to the wrong people.

      They specifically mention Half Brick and Voxel Agents as examples of successful game developers, both of which are smaller development teams working on smaller projects. Why should they be worried about backing AAA titles when we obviously don't have the national budget for it (or at least for backing more than one), when they can support numerous smaller, successful developers? Not to mention facing less risk.

      I myself think this is a great move, and would prefer to see a bunch of interesting smaller indie games than one or two AAA.

        The problem is that the AAA studios are the ones that pay the big bucks. You can't make a decent living out of small indie games. You need to put food on the table at the end of the day.

        Halfbrick aren't exactly what you'd call a small studio anymore either. They employ 50+ people across two studios now.

          It's all relative though. if you have a smaller team, smaller budget, smaller game then you dont need as many sales as a AAA might get. I am an indie developer and putting food on my own table from it.

    Now just completely introduce R18+, lower game prices since we are playing around $40 more than American's and everyone will be happy

    Too little too late.
    Maybe they could do something about how expensive it is to get a video game through the australian ratings system.

    Wow don't break the bank guys. Seriously this is pathetic, do they have any idea how much making a game costs?

    $20 Million per year would be a lot better

    Just as a comparison, the government spent $320m on making sure PAPUA NEW GUINEA has more opportunities for women. Opportunities for Australian graduates studying game development are somehow worth 16x less.

      You're seriously comparing the importance of international aid to game developers?

        Feeding people, providing medical support - good.

        Spending $330,000,000 on purely social 'causes' that have such vague and undefinable objectives with no explicit set of steps that will be taken? Typical government waste that could be better spent on... oh, I don't know - Australia?

    Maybe they'll invest more money back into already successful gaming companies like the 1.3 mil the NSW gave Half Brick to get its logo on the development credits of Fruit Ninja 2.

    Anyone thinking indie devs will see any of this money is dreaming.

    I am starting in making games, and hope to get some of this $$$, tho it looks like it wont be till 6months before it is available.

    Hopeing that Indie Dev's can get some love outta this money.

    I think tax breaks would've been better in this instance to be honest. That would help everyone in the industry, not just the few who are given a grant. I think the government needs to realize the importance of the software industry in Australia. It's only going to get bigger, yet the government insists on spending hundreds of millions of dollars on supporting a failing auto industry. It's ridiculous that they keep pumping money into something that sees them no return and something that still sees Holden no profit!

      Some of the supporting technology may come under other schemes like the R&D Tax Credit, plus there's things like state-based grants programs that could supplement it.

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