The Queensland Government this morning announced their roadmap for the state's screen industries over the next decade, a plan that will include the expansion of a co-working space for video game development, the creation of a "dedicated gaming development space" to assist development, and the championing and reinvigoration of the local games industry through Screen Queensland.
The plan was posted on the Advance Queensland website, and is part of the state government's plans to support and strengthen "screen" industries over the next ten years. A key part of that plan includes the expansion of what is a "screen" industry: that definition had traditionally been limited to film and TV production, but will now be expanded to cover video games, "online digital content", subscription video services like Netflix and Stan, and app development.
Image: Queensland Government
"Key areas of growth in the industry include the interactive games industry, which is projected to grow to more than US$96 billion globally. In Australia, the gaming sector is estimated to contribute $91 million to the Australian economy, employing 728 FTEs, with the demand for upstream activities created by the development of games, contributing an additional $24 million of indirect value," the paper says, adding that Queensland accounts for around 19 percent of "this total market".
A key part of the roadmap includes the expansion of the Screen Queensland-funded sqhub, which launched earlier this year as a dedicated co-working space for the screen industry in the state. 13 companies are currently residing there full-time, but under the roadmap it would be expanded.
Morgan Jaffit, founder of Hand of Fate developers Defiant Development, said that the state roadmap was "a huge positive". "This roadmap, along with recent moves from Screen Qld, show they they're committed to ensuring that Queensland game developers will reach the full potential of our industry over the next decade," Jaffit said.
"Personally, I'm excited as I've had the chance to see the benefits of working closely with the traditional screen sector. I think we have a lot to offer, and a lot to learn, and the more we work together the more we can do that."
Screen Queensland would also "proactively pursue" the creation of a YouTube Space in the state "to provide local producers greater opportunity to showcase their online content and access international markets", although it doesn't state whether this space would be a co-sharing hub, a networking area, or series of studios available for hire.
The biggest note for the games industry would be the creation of a "dedicated gaming liaison officer" to help communication and the growth of the local development industry, the appointment of a Screen Queensland board member "with specialist expertise in the gaming sector" to highlight the industry's needs, and the formation of a "dedicated gaming development space in the expansion of the precinct linking games developers with startups, incubators, investors and mentors".
Screen Queensland, and the state government, would also look to lobby Canberra to have subscription video on demand (Stan, Netflix series, for instance) to be included under the Location Offset legislation to help the cost of film and TV development. A separate screen production plan is being curated for Far North Queensland as well, and the state would lobby the federal government to have streaming services such as Stan and Netflix spend at least 10 percent of all Australian subscription revenue on the commissioning of "new Australian content". Queensland will also push for a "pipeline of events" to champion local industry, including the TV Week Logies for the next three years.
This story is developing...