When the Australian government struck a red line through $10 million of federal funding for video games, the local industry was understandably upset. In response Greens Senator Scott Ludlam secured a government inquiry into the state of games development in Australia and what the government could do to help.
Just a friendly reminder: that inquiry is looking for submissions.
The call for submission ends September 18 but has only received one submission to date, from ODD games.
We confirmed with a spokesperson from Parliament House. Often submissions are made, but aren't posted online until a later date. This is not the case here. The inquiry has only received one submission, but apparently this is quite normal. Most industry bodies wait until closer to the end-date to submit.
Ron Curry of the IGEA confirmed to us that he's sitting on a 28 page submission. Tony Reed, CEO of Game Developers' Association of Australia, confirmed that he would be submitting to the inquiry. He also mentioned that his submission would be used as a template by many other Australian studios to help present their thoughts to the inquiry. According to him there would plenty more activity in the lead up to September 18.
Plenty of other local developers have also confirmed to us that submissions are being worked on.
Which is a relief. This is an important inquiry for the Australian industry. Many of our strongest remaining studios were helped along the way with government funding, funding that has been paid back in full (and then some) with overseas revenue brought in by multiple successful game releases.
I suspect that, by September 18, there will be plenty of submissions but this is just a reminder: anyone can put a submission to the inquiry. Organisations and individuals are encouraged to post their thoughts and opinions to the inquiry.
The terms of reference are as follows
On 22 June 2015 the Senate referred the following matter for inquiry and report by 1 April 2016.
The future of Australia's video game development industry, with particular reference to:
a) how Australia can best set regulatory and taxation frameworks that will allow the local video game development industry to grow and fully meet its potential as a substantial employer, b) how Australia can attract video game companies to set up development operations in Australia and employ local staff, c) how export opportunities from Australia's local video game industry can be maximised, and d) any other related matters.
If you are interested, you can find out more information on how to make a submission here