Developers And Industry Slam The Federal Government's Response To The Video Games Inquiry

642 days after a cross-party federal inquiry recommended ways to support the local video games industry, the Federal Government responded. Out of eight recommendations, the government only supported one in principle.

Naturally, local developers and studios have been less than impressed - and they haven't been shy about airing their disappointment.

Over the last few hours, the video game industry has been digesting the federal government response to a Senate inquiry into the local video game sector. Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Communications and the Arts, had initially announced that the government would table its response by the end of 2017.

That response eventually came at the end of January, nearly two years after the recommendations were handed down.

The Australian Government Has Finally Responded To The Federal Inquiry Into Video Games

In April 2016, the Senate held a parliamentary inquiry into the state of the Australian video game industry. After weeks of deliberations and consulations with industry and bureaucracy, the cross-party committee made 8 recommendations that included arguing for the reinstatement of the Australian Interactive Games Fund.

Read more

The reaction was almost universally negative, with developers and industry representatives slamming the government for not offering to do more.

Jonny Roses, the policy and public affairs lawyer for the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, said on Twitter:

Out of the 8 recommendations made by the Senate, the Government "noted" 5 of them, "did not support" 2 of them, and while it "did support" 1 of them (on encouraging the uptake of serious games), it believed the industry should pursue this and NOT the government.

So, all-in-all, there was not one single recommendation that the Government actually supported. No funding has been reinstated. No other initiatives (aside from $17,000 given to GDAA for GDC attendance) were implemented.

And this response has come 642 days after the Senate published its report. The Government was required to respond within 3 months, yet missed its deadline, even after it promised to respond by the end of 2017.

The association also provided a separate statement to Kotaku Australia:

To say we are disappointed with the government's response to the Senate Inquiry would be to understate things. We are incredibly disappointed for the industry, but sadly not surprised, by this short-sighted approach by the Federal government. The lack of engagement and long overdue reply spoke volumes even before we saw the 'all of government' response. The industry deserves much better than this.

We will continue to work with State, Territory and Federal governments on creating an environment that supports the Australian development sector to compete on a more level playing field, both locally and internationally.

The Game Developers' Association of Australia also responded:

Developers and observers on Twitter were less impressed.

John Kane, maker of Killing Time at Lightspeed and Mallow Drops:

This was the response I expected, but it's still gutting to see such a dismissal of an entire industry like this. To be honest, the Australian games industry exists despite the federal government, not because of it. We'll keep on making amazing work, just as we always have, even if we have to move elsewhere to do it.

Chris Conte, co-founder of 5 Lives Studios, makers of Satellite Reign:

2 years of being constantly slapped in the face: "We haven't looked at it yet", "It is on my desk", "We are formulating a response", "You will have our response before the end of the year" .... then we get punched in the face: "Aaaaahhhh.... No" ... I'm not sure why I thought we were going to get good news at the end of this. I guess we will continue to post this at the end of our games:

Morgan Jaffit, founder of Defiant Development, makers of the Hand of Fate games:

To receive such a slapdash response, after the amount of work and detail put into the submission, and especially to receive it 600 days late is obviously a huge disappointment.

More than that though, this codifies what has been made clear by the governments actions. Despite the local games industry being an exemplar of the "strong, flexible, digital economy" the government purports to support, the govt simply does not care. More than that, they've actively dismantled funds in existence and explicitly denied games funding through other agencies.

Ultimately, this is disappointing, but simply reaffirms the position that has been clear through the governments actions.

The Australian Greens' spokesperson for Digital Rights and IT, Senator Jordon Steele-John, said the Minister's response "just does not cut it" and that they were "rejecting the recommendations of its own members":

The Government just doesn’t get it. It took them over 600 days, and this is the best they have got! They clearly do not understand the creative, economic, and cultural value of this important industry and seem to have logged off. Defaulting to tired lines about their National Innovation and Science Agenda just does not cut it.

The Government is rejecting the recommendations of its own members and Minister Fifield is robbing all Australians of the right to benefit from the significant cultural and economic contribution that a thriving Australian Games Industry would provide. The funding that the Government mentions is not targeted to supporting the Games Industry and is not sufficient. This is a Creative industry that requires the same supports that film and television firms can access.


Comments

    Lucky to be living in Adelaide and working for Mighty Kingdom. Thanks to the tireless efforts of management working with the Weatherill government we've secured $2m in funding for SA games, ~$500k of which is for GamePlus. Currently sitting in a nice new office, nearly ready for the other 4 or so studios to move in.

    Dishearting but at the same time this does not surprise me.

    Both sides (Coalition and Labor) couldn't care less about IT unless it they can use it as an advantage to get points on the other for minimal effort.

    The effort was lead by Ludlam who basically let a false narrative of the Government coming after the industry rather than highlight the fault and the limiting effects this has on the growth of young areas on the industry.

    It doesn't help either that the likes of Chris Conte are making false, political comments in the game credits.

    At the end of the day, what was needed was cool, educated heads to build a very difficult case against the coalition.

    This did not happen.

    Given this outcome, the industry now has two choices: 1) take their business off shore where they will be respected and not tread into the ground, 2) be successful on its own without help so neither side can never wash the egg off their faces.

    What the industry does not need is Conte-esque comments. The government is not out to kill the industry - that implies it actually has interest which it does not.

      I'm not intending to be disrespectful, but I have a few questions and issues to raise with what you've said.

      Firstly, I think there's plenty to speak to the Government's contempt for the Australian video games industry: The cutting of the remaining funding during the 2014 budget, our Arts minister specifically excluding games from the Catalyst fund, repeatedly missing deadlines to respond to a government inquiry. I don't think it's a far stretch to suggest that the government doesn't regard the games industry favorably - perhaps they're not out to get them, but they're certainly not trying to help, or in some cases making things worse thus far.

      Your second part of that statement: "rather than highlight the fault and limiting effects this has on the growth of young areas on the industry" - I would regard that as having been done by the inquiry that supported to reinstatement of government assistance for the Australian video games industry.

      Lastly - your statement "At the end of the day, what was needed was cool, educated heads to build a very difficult case against the coalition". I'm curious to know what would satisfy this criteria for you personally - because I would regard the games inquiry they're responding to (and in some parts even challenging) as quite a strong case for reversing their earlier decision.

        I'm not intending to be disrespectful

        You're not being disrespectful at all. I know objective discussion when I see it. And you're post is one of these rare examples.

        Not to get too far off topic but it has gotten to the point where so many have accused me of shilling for the Murdoch media I have since make my posts short and too the point so those in question cannot abuse the downvote system to censor what they don't want to hear.

        For that, you actually have my thanks. When it comes to politics, it has become almost impossible to have dialog on the matter. Trial by social media as the term goes.

        Anyhow, sorry about the length of this pre-response banter.

        I think there's plenty to speak to the Government's contempt for the Australian video games industry

        While personally I disagree, objectively it can be interpreted that way. But there is more evidence in favour of Joe Hockey being out right lazy than the Coalition as a whole having it in for the industry.

        The contempt itself wasn't even something that emerged from Hockey's first budget. The starting point was actually Ludlam and this was the platform he rode.

        While Ludlam's actions and lack of education on the matter (he made some very bad comments at PAX that were untrue and self-defeating), the Coalition biting back by not responding properly was both a bad choice and basically validated Ludlam's false narrative retrospectively.

        I would regard that as having been done by the inquiry that supported to reinstatement of government assistance for the Australian video games industry

        Like I said, the main problem with the inquiry was Ludlam heading it. No matter how good the intention, if the one heading the matter is uneducated and unprofessional then it is not going to be taken seriously even if there are serious points.

        I mentioned this before so I'll elaborate. At PAX 2017 (from memory), Ludlam made some political comments that were not true and harked back to Rudd's acts of desperation.

        The first was saying anyone who uses the envelope analogy (when describing the then upcoming meta-data retention) doesn't know what he or she is talking about.

        What he did was basically disagree with one of the core concept of computing networking called encapsulation (where a message is made the payload of another message) which made VPNs possible yet he also was running around telling people to get a VPN to get around the meta-data retention.

        Needless to say, to make a self-defeating argument about a service that makes many modern game modes possible, software delivery viable and even business possible where it wouldn't be otherwise doesn't work to one's favour.

        The other comment he made was we (the public) should make the Coalition fear us more than the Herald Sun.

        In case you don't know, the Herald Sun is a News Corp owned paper in Victoria.

        This harks back to Rudd saying Rupert Murdoch was out to get him; claims that were true yet here's Ludlam parroting them.

        The worst part was Ludlam's actions after the inquiry. There is no professional way to describe it. He basically threw a tantrum at not getting a response on his terms.

        Granted, he had the right to be frustrated. But he's behaviour was well and truely unacceptable with a lot of it being accusatory of the Coalition having contempt (which the Coalition basically validated by their silence).

        I'm curious to know what would satisfy this criteria for you personally

        Objectively speaking (my personal views don't hold weight thus are not worth mentioning), just a strong sense of professionalism and dealing with the bad players.

        For example, if Ludlam was just educated on the matter, didn't make false, self-defeating statements and kept away from even implying an accusation of contempt then the case would have been made much stronger.

        As for players in the game industry. For one, it should have been made clear that that Chris Conte's comments were his own and not representative of the game industry.

        Sadly because the comment "Made in Australia despite efforts of our government" appears in the credits of a game, a third party looking at the situation will think that is the opinion of a good part of the game industry. Unintentional or otherwise, this screams a sense of entitlement, not need. And many external to the matter will think that.

        If I may mention Gamers4Croydon again. One of the motivations of their formation was Atkinson's own personal blocking of the R18 rating. Where there were strong points for such a rating, a few people were basically turning to social media and wished harm on Atkinson. Sadly he saw the comments and basically used them against the pro-R18 movement which in turn set progress back. And all because of a few who couldn't keep their frustration in check.

        Anyhow. I meant to kept this short but dayum! I've basically written a thesis here!

        If I may conclude, while the current outcome is saddening, I'm not surprised. The only relief I have here is at least this round is done.

        As the text above illustrates, this all started with the best of intentions and basically became a royal s**t show.

        In the very least, I hope this outcome becomes a lesson in how not to move against a government decision. Leaving objectivity aside, I hope that if anyone tries such an inquiry again, they will look back on what has happened and learn from those mistakes.

          Honestly all of your descriptions of Ludlam's missteps sound like small potatoes to me, especially in the the context of how the wider political staff acts. So far much more forgivable and sometime even reasonable IMO in the face of communicating with the very people we're beseeched to.

          No offence, but I think your personal bias against Ludlam is preventing you from making an objective judgement.

          Ludlam's comments regarding metadata and the envelope analogy aren't off the mark. Metadata and encapsulation are two different things, and Brandis really sounded like he had absolutely zero understanding of the subject. Furthermore, that you even brought it up showcases your bias against Ludlam because that has nothing to do with gaming. You are basically making the case "Ludlam is bad, therefore this enquiry is bad". Surely you can see how ridiculous that is, especially given his behaviour is equal to the typical bad behaviour we see from most politicians. I strongly disagree with him on certain issues, but I do give him some points for fighting for the gaming industry. If you counter with "that's just attention seeking" then you can blame any other politician of the same on their favourite issues.

          Gamers4Croydon is also utterly irrelevant, and bringing it up is the equivalent of saying "all of Sydney is racist because of the Cronulla riots". It was many years ago, and should have no bearing on the current discussion because it's blaming an entire population for the misdeeds of a few. Gamers in general are not Gamers4Croydon, and the gaming industry is certainly not.

          The response of the gaming industry has been amazingly measured in the face of the blatant disregard and disrespect that it has been given by the Abbott and Turnbull governments. Chris Conte's response is not out of line, nor should there be any expectation that he is speaking for the entire gaming industry. If Holden came out and said "we don't like Coca-Cola", no one would take that as the opinion of the car industry as a whole, so it's preposterous to suggest that a credits screen for a game which received zero support from the government speaks for the gaming industry as a whole.

          Essentially your arguments are misplaced and gross generalisations that have no real weight.

          The government has treated the gaming industry like dirt, while throwing inordinate amounts of money at dying industries like coal. For all their claims about jobs and growth and wanting to support technology and growing industries, they're ignoring and ostracising one of the biggest markets in the world. By that measure, I'd say the Australian gaming industry has been remarkably restrained in their discussions with the government - especially given how very little audience they have been granted.

            Might be some time before this appears. Moderation filter has been tripped again.

            No offence, but I think your personal bias against Ludlam is preventing you from making an objective judgement.

            No offence taken. But what I present is not bias and actually is backed by computer networking text.

            Metadata and encapsulation are two different things, and Brandis really sounded like he had absolutely zero understanding of the subject.

            Never said they were one and the same. But they do compliment. Meta-data is data about about.

            That being said, the analogy is correct. When a message is transmitted (Ethernet frame, TCP segment, IP datagram, etc.) the header will have a lot of meta-data, destination, size, traffic type, depends on the transmission.

            Envelopes are no different - they have an address which is analogous to routing information.

            This is networking 101. So how can Ludlam be described as representing IT if he can't get that basic concept down?

            You are basically making the case 'Ludlam is bad, therefore this enquiry is bad'

            He was the one spear heading the inquiry. The driver if I may make that the comparison.

            And if the driver has a poor sense of direction there will be poor movement. And that is what happened.

            The inquiry itself wasn't bad. But the truth is Ludlam basically knee-capped the whole event by his own actions.

            Gamers4Croydon is also utterly irrelevant, and bringing it up is the equivalent of saying "all of Sydney is racist because of the Cronulla riots". It was many years ago, and should have no bearing on the current discussion because it's blaming an entire population for the misdeeds of a few. Gamers in general are not Gamers4Croydon, and the gaming industry is certainly not.

            That passage could have done with more proof reading as that wasn't my intention.

            The point I was making was during the R18 debate there was an our right stalemate and the whole press held up by one man. Neither Atkinson's own co-workers in Labor nor anyone on Abbott's side would do anything.

            Thus a external source emerged and put some much needed pressure. That was the point I tried to make.

            The Greens don't count as the external source needed to force change as they too are part of the same system.

            Chris Conte's response is not out of line, nor should there be any expectation that he is speaking for the entire gaming industry.

            They actually were out of line - his comment basically implies the Coalition tried to stop Conte's game from being made. That was not the case.

            I'm not over-generalising - I'm call things as they are.

            The government has treated the gaming industry like dirt, while throwing inordinate amounts of money at dying industries like coal

            This is yet another one of their bad decisions but as I pointed out they are not concerned because they have no competition greater themselves. And they are capitalising on it.

            I show no bias. Anger, maybe. Hyperbolic, I'm infamous for. But bias? No, I learned the hard way not to do that during my PhD days.

            Anyhow, I think this discussion has gone on long enough. This is falling into political analysis and, let's face it, that's as exciting as a Uwe Bole film.

            But thanks for actually discussing the side-topic. It's actually nice to have the matter discussed for a change rather than having to fend off implications I have partisanship towards a given political party.

              I think we will have to disagree on a number of points. But regarding Conte, you say that he's out of line because he suggests the Coalition tried to stop his game from being made. The Coalition cancelled a source of funding for video games. A source of funding he might have received something from. While it's not targeted (and Conte doesn't suggest it is in that throwaway comment) it was still detracting from the gaming industry in Australia. Furthermore, his credits screen wasn't a submission to this inquiry, so I fail to see how that should have any impact on the inquiry or the government's response. The government has essentially extended the middle finger to the gaming industry with its response - Conte's tweet is returning the favour. And indicating that game development in Australia will happen despite the government, and given their actions, that is 100% accurate.

              I could continue to discuss further the other points, but I don't feel the need to turn this into a wider political discussion. The other parties are not really relevant here as they're not the ones making this decision. The government is, and they botched this horribly.

          The only way you're really going to influence government is to put money into their campaigns, or actively threaten their key politicians in swing states by mobilizing political resources against them. The games industry would need to be a lot less pleasant and a lot more vocal and aggressive to get things done I think. There's no point cowtailing to them now, they're not interested in the industry and probably are actively against it.

            The only way you're really going to influence government is to put money into their campaigns

            That's actually a myth. Donating money to a party is no guarantee they will not renege.

            actively threaten their key politicians in swing states by mobilizing political resources against them.

            That's basically what Gamers4Croydon started. I have no doubt that if they continued and didn't wind down they would have become a sizeable force against both parties in that state.

            They didn't need to be unpleasant. They were educated and peaceful. Unlike others such as the Greens.

            Gamers4Croydon being spread out across states didn't help though.

            What needs to happen is for each state to basically have its own movement and once each has size and momentum, for a larger party to take on the major two.

      Well, your statement that neither sides care is demonstrably garbage WH, Labor introduced the AIGF, the Coalition are the ones who killed it early.

      https://www.newgameplus.tv/blogs/newgameplus/Government_Cuts_Australian_Interactive_Games_Fund

      Labor state governments such as SAs and Victoria are stepping in to help keep the local industry alive.

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-20/sa-government-push-become-national-leader-gaming-industry/9171662
      https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/06/the-victorian-government-just-funded-9-australian-games/

      You can try and score some partisan points, but the facts speak for themselves.

        No, Kolreth. The only garbage is your behaviour.

        While you have presented facts, I have presented complete facts.

        In terms of seeking partisan points, they are only found in your implication which is not reflective of my posts.

        If my posts upset you so much you have to attack the messenger (me), then just ignore me already. I am not going to stop presenting the complete facts.

          You have provided paraphrasing, unattributed quotes and spin. I've provided evidence of Labor supporting the games industry with links included. There's a difference Wise(lol)Hacker.

            Yes. Paraphrasing, unattributed quotes and spin was provided. By you.

            Evidence was provided. By me.

            I will always know the difference and you will always be desperate.

            You have been feed enough. I have no more complete facts for you. Discussion over.

            [Walks away]

              I can't see a single attributed quote in your posts mate, here's one important thing you're lacking in this department.

              4. Provide a citation for the quotation.

              All quotations, just like all paraphrases, require a formal citation. For more details about particular citation formats, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. In general, you should remember one rule of thumb: Place the parenthetical reference or footnote/endnote number after—not within—the closed quotation mark.

              Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (Roosevelt, Public Papers, 11).

              Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”1

              https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/

              ^^^A properly attributed quote.

              You also state your quotes from Ludlam at Pax2017 are from memory, and we all know how reliable that can be. Then you go on to give us your personal opinion as why having a particular person you're not fond of was an instant death knell for the inquiry, which is an example of spin. Amstradhero has stated it way more eloquently than myself, props to them.

              I didn't actually quote anything in my original post, I gave links to supporting evidence for the reader to examine for themselves.

              [Draws a unicorn]

    We have listened, but we won't do anything about it.

    I beleive it's now called "Doin the Bungie"

      This will forever be my new phrase when I listen but am uninterested in what is being said. I’ll bungie you for a bit...

    Our government is made of people who don't live the lives we live, don't understand the things we understand, and don't see value in the things we value. Case in point: I literally had to mail a vote in for my approval of same sex marriage. Which felt absolutely jarring.
    They are out of touch, and are in the incorrect age demographic to make a lot of these decisions-- ESPECIALLY this one.
    Next time you vote in a federal election, think carefully about whether or not you do truly support the top two parties. Maybe give those pro-marijuana guys your vote: They will appreciate Gaming for sure (mostly Katamari Damacy games).

      Case in point: I literally had to mail a vote in for my approval of same sex marriage. Which felt absolutely jarring.

      There were a lot of factors that put mail as the better option. But the main one was the outright failure of the last Census where the IT infrastructure simply didn't meet demand.

      That topic aside.

      Our government is made of people who don't live the lives we live, don't understand the things we understand, and don't see value in the things we value.

      I don't think so. I'm certain they can see and understand just fine.

      The problem is, we are not of their concern. Their only concern is staying in office and enjoy the perks.

      When removing the business of deceit which heavily flavours politics, one is left with something that is no different to a marathon or a competition.

      The winner (one who stays in office) is the strongest of all the competition. As it stands, that's currently the Coalition and they know this.

      Their only real competition is Labor. Labor is putting in little resistence outside being myopic obstructionists. The Coalition know this that is why so many of their policies have so little effort in them.

      There is no motivation to try harder than the minima above what Labor would.

      And the remaining options, including the Green favour, is even worse.

      For things to really change, we need another movement like Gamers4Croydon. They didn't win but they had the professionalism and smarts that caused the start of the tide change on Atkinson who retired shortly after. He knew the tide would only gain momentum and he was not likely to win the next state election.

      If such pressure existed at the federal level, the pressure needed to make the Coalition use their full capacity instead of the minima would exist.

      But I doubt this will happen.

      Many want change. But they don't want to be the ones to make the rallying cry.

      So instead, the pick an alternative and just vote in protest which is making the whole situation even worse.

        I hear you, but I feel that the preoccupation with popularity and confidence within each party (both have now sacked PMs) means people need to demonstrate a desire for change via their votes. It's is literally the ONLY option we are given. And it only makes things worse because people default back to sheep mentality and choose one of the big two.
        Protests are a joke there to make you feel like you're accomplishing something and you can't start a people's movement to initiate change without a coup. And military support.
        Hence, we use voting.
        I know people will never organise themselves to vote differently in order to instigate reform (also, preference voting is a thing. A dodgy arse thing), so we can all just keep doing the same thing and expect progress to be helmed by people who aren't like anyone is hang out with (except Sam Dastayari, he was a rad c***).

        Some say that's how Trump won. He was part of the protest vote.

        Some say that's how Trump won. He was part of the protest vote.

          Australia. We are not Americans. Trump has created an opportunity for other countries to occupy Anerica's niche, but our government wants to focus on selling our power and water abroad.

            We had our own equivalent when Abbott won in 2013. That campaign was about protesting Labor's rule, not whether the Liberals were any better.

            The repercussions are different in each country, but protest voting has been happening around the world for about 5 years now, where the vote is about protesting the past, not necessarily bettering the future.

            Abbott, Trump, Brexit... The list goes on across at least another half dozen big countries or more.

              Yeah, all that is true. I guess I expect protest voting to display people's apathy towards their potential leaders, not lead to Brexit (off topic, but Brexit would make a fantastic name for a bulldog).
              Western society and our democracy hasn't crystallised into something the people can influence. The media can, but voters are kinda limited in their scope.

              We had our own equivalent when Abbott won in 2013. That campaign was about protesting Labor's rule, not whether the Liberals were any better.

              If I may ask though, did anyone actually win?

              2013 and 2016 feel to me that nobody won and the Coalition simply didn't lose it.

                After the Rudd Gillard Rudd debacle Labor had committed political suicide and Abbott got elected by default. That Malcolm won later is a continuation of that. Labor lack proper leadership and direction, but I'd still take that over a government that's actively hostile towards my industry (and the environment). Luckily 3rd parties exist and are starting to have a significant impact. Hoping for another 3 way minority government next term

                  Hoping for another 3 way minority government next term

                  Careful what you wish for as the expression goes.

                  A recent token of good faith, like what you are getting now, does not make up for a history of short sight on both sides.

                  Wouldn't trust funding from Labor given the strings they put in their "education revolution".

                  Minority governments can be quite bad, you have so many groups to keep happy it makes it increadably hard to pass anything through the houses. Once you do it can be quite different from its original intention.

                Good point :) In what's effectively a two horse race though, not losing IS a win.

                We're used to majority governments here, but minority governments happen all the time around the world. Personally, I think we'll have them here for a number of years, and either end up with another coalition (eg Labor & Greens, ala Libs & Nats), or have a genuine third party that consistently gets 10+ seats.

    I'm sorry, did ANYONE expect anything better from THIS government? THIS bunch of useless, blundering, backwards, braindead, neolithic, luddite incompetents? This government that literally cannot do a SINGLE thing right in any possible field, you expected them to take an interest in video games of all things? If you did, you're sadly delusional.

      I had zero expectations. The delay (technically a BREACH) gave away the outcome.
      I passed your test and am not sadly delusional. Huzzah!

      yeah, because your precious labor government didnt fuck the country before they got booted

      get an education instead of trying to be cool

        I think you'll find he was reffering to the entire government; all parties, because they've all been useless.

          i dont know... he seems pretty certain it was "THIS" government - a little hard to miss.

    “it’s up to the private sector to invest in the development of games...” just like everything else that once had Government funding. Liberals just sell off things to their private sector mates and expect the industry to thrive from there, then maybe the Government will find a way (usually through tax) to make a profit off something to do with the industry.

      Not just Libs. I had a lengthy conversation with VicGov (Andrews Labor) about options to bolster esport in Victoria and their response? “Leave it to industry.”

      We can spend several hundred million bringing a car race with decreasing viewership to Melbourne but God forbid we make a case to snatch a DOTA Major or an Overwatch League team.

      The problem runs less along partisan lines and more along “rich old out-of-touch white men” vs. “everyone else” lines.

      To think our Prime Minister made a heap of money out of the internet business staggers me.

        As Christopher mentions below;
        According to the APH website the youngest member of parliament is 30, with only 22 members being below 40. That means that only 22 of these people went through childhood in an era where video games existed.

        This, to me, means that you have to think about the majority of our government like you do your parents when it comes to these sorts of things. I know my parents (aged 62 and 56) have no idea about games let alone the games industry and so i can't expect the politicians that represent me to know either. This is a very simplistic way of looking at things because politicians have a lot more research tools and resources at their disposal but that's how i manage my expectations.

        Also; i feel for you on a state level too man. Here in SA all our government is worried about is spending money on outdated hospitals...

          Sorry fella, I know plenty of 45+yo gamers who had atari 2600s to start with, then commodore 64s, then amigas, amstrads and other home machines based on z80 processors.

        just for once, can people just fucking quit it with the racist rhetoric of 'rich old white men'

        I'm sure had you changed the colour you would have been banned by now.

        The government is not wholly composed of 'rich old white men' im sure a number of the green and labor, as well as liberals would be happy knowing that their careers and efforts are brushed aside with comments as such

          Why would you think the Greens and Labor are excluded from that generalisation?

            i think you mistook what i said...

            I didnt elude they were excluded, just that their rank and file is not comprised wholly of 'rich old white men' - thus dismissing all their works and effort

      So you're not ok with the government taxing things but are disappointed they didn't found something which would come from tax.
      So if we can't tax things where does this money magically come from?

      Privatisation does have it's perks, on a state government level NSW trains are public and they are striking and loosing workers to higher paying private sector jobs interstate. Privatisation is not always a bad thing.

    According to the APH website the youngest member of parliament is 30, with only 22 members being below 40. That means that only 22 of these people went through childhood in an era where video games existed. This attitude probably matches what the government at the time thought of TV in the 50s, or radio when it was first introduced. Meanwhile over 90% of Australian homes have a gaming device.

      I would shift that to about 45. 40 is a bit low.

        See right below. I'd go higher, the VIC 20 came out in 1980, meaning young teens born in the 60's would have been the ones getting them. Early 60's would have been getting Apple 2's and Atari 2600's in the mid to late 70's.

        Its a false stereotype to believe people over 40 don't know tech, or gaming, the upper age limit is far higher than people seem to realise. Personally, I had access to an Apple 2 when I was 6, and I'm near 50 myself.

      I wish people would stop spouting the stereotype that people over 40 don't know tech, or don't know games, or things like that. The Atari 2600 came out in 1977, and there were numerous consoles and computers that came out in the years after that which were gaming machines.

      People now 50 plus had access to those as kids or teenagers. I know, I lived it.

      How many are under 50? Or 55? That's a better upper limit.

    you see, you need to find a way to make games that hurts the environment, and upholds conservative christian values while porkbarreling the coalition electorates.

    That's how you get funding.

    Taking 2 years to do nothing is neither Agile nor Innovative.

    Just to be clear...
    The upset is because the government doesn't see the requirement to invest in an industry?

      Yes, given the government invests heavily in other industries to the tunes of millions or billions of dollars, the fact that they can't concieve of even spending thousands of dollars on the gamimg industry is quite a joke.

      Jobs and growth and investment in technology were catch cries of this government. Yet when given an opportunity to make a slam dunk easy choice to support an industry (that is still growing worldwide) fitting all of those things they completely washed their hands of everything and said no.

        Fair enough, its pretty rotten they throw shit loads of money at Holden/Ford - but these were to keep thousands (if not tens) in jobs.

        Potentially investing millions into an industry that doesn't have a hugely profitable foothold in this country isn't a bad thing, its good financial planning.

        Have a look at the abomination that was recently released "AO tennis".

        Would you pump money into that as an industry?

        While i can somewhat agree, i also dont think that investing in something that doesnt quite have a huge return is just not big business.
        There are a number of industries that started without gov handouts, and when they are sustainable, they warrant investment.

          You invest into an industry because you expect it to grow, not to keep it afloat. The gaming industry in Australia will grow with our without funding, but without funding the pace will be significantly slower and we'll lose talent and work to overseas. Investing in car manufacturing makes no sense when it's on the decline and there's no hope of improvement. Small grants into games can easily boost a small company enough to reach to critical mass and suddenly employ dozens more people.

            good point, not a line of thought i had investigated.

            Thing for me is that with gaming now such a global market, a small group of programmers can make a product generating hundreds of millions or even billions. I look back and see LA Noire, made here in Australia, selling 5 million copies around the world. At $60 a pop on average, imagine if that net revenue all came back here.

            Or look at Crossy Road, with 50 million downloads. That needs to be encouraged at a national level, not handicapped with red tape and paperwork.

            As you say, it will grow regardless, but why make it so hard? When they get it right, the revenue to be taxed is massive, and makes up for years of whats essentially peanuts at a budget level.

            Gaming isn't a constant return industry though. Sure you may sell 5 million copies but that's after years of work and then after initial sales opening. Continuing sales decline. It's not a steady revenue base, that could cause some hesitation to invest in the sector.

              A valid point, but most companies don't just make one game and call it a day. Our company has two teams working on 4+ games. With "Games as a Service" being a real thing we've got a steady income that supports nearly 40 people.

        Being in a budget deficit, who do you propose we take the money from to fund It?

        I don't mean to sound snarky but there's only so much money to go around.

        Last edited 01/02/18 4:29 pm

          How about not undertaking initiatives that cost benefit analysis has determined would be a waste?

          How about ditching the move of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Barnaby Joyce's electorate? Or the Adani mine which is predicted to cost more than it will add?

          Seriously, there are plenty of opportunities for money to be better directed to the gaming industry where it would be supporting technology, innovation, jobs and growth. This government is just too backwards and idiotic to do it.

    A typical reaction from people who could generously be called dinosaurs.

    ...the Australian games industry exists despite the federal government, not because of it.John Kane nailed it.

    Why is the GDAA kissing arse? And why are their tweets shown twice?

    Why does everyone expect the government to solve private sector problems by throwing money at it? Generally speaking, the less government reliant a sector is, the more immune and resilient it becomes. If it is just a short term (2-3 years) sugar hit of government funding for a specific purpose then I could kind of understand, but relying on the government for the success of an industry tells me that the industry should needs to work on itself to become self sustainable instead of relying on handouts

      Growth. Not sustainment.

      Here in Melbourne, we have a whole gaggle of mobile devs who pump out F2P with micro transactions that sustain their core business just fine.

      This is about growing the industry - and it would never be a permanent budget fixture. If we want to talk economics, we can start by looking at the mega-bucks we just spent on fighter jets that are about a strong fart away from falling out of the sky.

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