The Victorian Liberals Are Pitching To Gamers

Victoria is in the middle of election season right now, and a large chunk of the country is set to follow with more state and federal elections in 2019. And as part of their campaign, the Victorian Liberals have made a play that we can expect to see more of in the coming decade: a pitch to gamers.

In a release earlier this week, the Liberal opposition government announced that they would be maintaining existing funding for the screen and video game industries in Victoria, while looking at new opportunities to expand state support for the sector across multiple avenues.

The release didn't contain details of any additional funding, although they did note they would "provide new funding" for makers of applied or serious games. As for the video games sector, the opposition pledged the following:

  • Work with games industry representatives and relevant Victorian tertiary institutions to ensure that game development courses meet industry expectations;
  • Continue to provide direct assistance to developers for the marketing and promotion of their games;
  • Provide new funding for developers of "applied games" that have safety, health or education benefits;
  • Lobby the Federal Government to expand the eligibility criteria for the existing 40% production offset to include games projects or introduce a new offset that applies to games content
  • Continue to support major events such as Melbourne International Games Week (started by the Liberal Nationals in 2014), and the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) (brought to Melbourne by the Liberal Nationals) and the annual Games Connect Asia Pacific conference as well as the attendance of games industry developers at major international conferences and events.
  • Review screen industry training courses through University/TAFE to ensure that industry practitioners are receiving training that is fit for purpose;
  • Fund the development of a new "Filming in Victoria" locations resource (including a mobile app) to consolidate location and other relevant filming information

Supporting existing measures, particularly when they're successful and beneficial across multiple fronts (tourism, export, growing local industries and so on), isn't something that should be praised per se. Taxpayer funds should go into projects that work, especially if they're projects that mean a lot to the state. And with millenials now becoming the largest voting bloc across all of Australia, and gaming the most prominent form of entertainment and play for singles, couples and families across the country, all of this really makes sense.

What's interesting about it is that we're getting closer and closer to political parties starting to properly pitch to gamers. The mainstream understanding of gaming, and gamers as a general audience, is still exceptionally infantile. But the value of that group as a bloc, particularly as political parties themselves become refreshed with staffers who game plenty in their own spare time, is slowly but surely growing over time.

And on the plus side: at least there's an announcement about something. Daniel Andrews' site (because caretaker conventions during an election restrict what announcements and policies can be released through the official site for the Victorian Premier), featured no announcements or policies relating to the Victorian games industry, or screen industries at the time of writing. The closest is the announcement of a $12.5 million investment into a performing arts centre at Gasworks Arts Park, but given that the screen industries contribute $1.4 billion to Victoria's GDP and employ tens of thousands of Victorians in full-time equivalent roles, the industry deserves a little more love.

So if anything else, maybe this just gets Labor to mirror the Liberals' approach. Maybe it encourages them to commit to slightly more funding. Either way, it's a sign of the times, and slowly but surely, those times could be good for local developers.


Comments

    I mean that's great and all, but if they really wanted to appeal to "gamers" they'd be throwing a bone toward pushing for some half-decent internet infrastructure to get built in the state.

      That and try to work out a way for us to avoid paying/minimise the Australia tax on games.

        Eh, games generally aren't that expensive anymore. New release games are typically around AU$70 (unless you shop at EB Games - don't do that), which works out to be pretty close to the US$50 they generally pay in America.

        Games are one thing that don't appear to be affected too badly by the Australia tax. Consumer electronics, on the other hand...

          Digital storefronts are typically $100 for AAA games though :/

          unless you shop at EB Games - don't do that There are times they're worth it still, just not often.

          With RDR2 they had their tradein deal where the price dropped to $29 if you traded in 2 games worth more than a tenner in tradein value. People with old games they're willing to get rid of can get in on that and pick it up cheaper than anywhere else.

          I don't trade games in very often at all, generally thinking that if I bought them, I wanted to play them (simple, right?) and that I might want to play them again at some point.

          But that EB offer made me look through my library, and it wasn't hard to find a couple of games that I no longer needed, simply because I'd gotten them on PS Plus later on. Was an easy savings on a AAA game, bringing its price down to a trivial amount.

          Without some sort of deal of price match though, no, they aren't worth buying from. Their shelf price is comfortably the worst one out there.

        I don’t think they can do much about that because publishers are setting regional pricing. They can’t force prices just because they’re expensive.

          However there are laws that purposely allow grey importing to prevent companies gouging Aussies without recourse.

          Theoretically they could force companies to let Australian consumers to access whichever regional version of a storefront they want.

          It’s pretty extreme and there’s certainly some thorns and challenges but it’s something that they could do something about.

      It's more a pitch to game developers than gamers. It's a nice list, but game developers and gamers aren't always the same group.

        Without funding it's not much of a pitch to devs either :/

    Next trust a party that cut games funding nationally, and then again in SA.

    There is nothing on that list that would have any measurable impact on the Victorian games industry in the next four years. Just fluff and spin to tick some boxes and make it look they're progressive.

    But more relevant for poor gamers, Matthew Guy will give you a 50% discount on a new television!

    So they've basically pledged to not go backwards? Talk about the bare minimum.

    Does it need to be pointed out how big the games industry is? The potential for "jobs and growth" in this market shouldn't be so hard to sell.

      The game's company I work for just put out a request for another 5 graduates. That'll put us over 40 new people since I started 5 years ago.

        Always good to hear the industry expanding. Bunch of old WoW guildies worked for Krome back during vanilla WoW, and they were expanding then. Was always an exciting vibe when that happened, even with us in chat.

        Keep meaning to ask by the way, hows Derailed doing?

          Pretty poorly to be honest. I've only got around 150 players across iOS and Android which isn't enough to monetise or get valid analytics from. Was really counting on the SA Games Grant for marketing and player acquisition. Have been spending all my time and personal money on house stuff now

      I'll never understand why politics is so slow to pick up on this stuff. I get that most political leaders are older and aren't interested in gaming but surely they can understand basic economics.

      It's the same in America where the Games Industry has already overtaken the film industry for yearly profits and growth but continues to get ignored by politicians...

    Some of these ideas are good, however (1) there is a significant lack of detail and (2) it is safe to say the outcome of the election is already decided.

    The winner will be Daniel Andrews.

    It doesn't matter the amount of damage he has done (letting the Fire Fighters Union become akin to the CFMEU, left Victoria with a huge bill to not build the East-West Link, and is racing to hide his own Red Shirts from the police).

    Matthew Guy is a Liberal so Victorians will most likely put him at the bottom of the card.

      I did put Liberals last but i live near the Footscray hospital which is ready to be shut down. I had to go earlier this year and they were lovely to me. I was horrified to hear it's pretty much condemned.

        That is your choice and your are welcome to it.

        I'm sure you did the leg work and voted based on what is genuine.

          I'm in a pretty safe labor seat anyway. Tbh I hadn't heard anything from the liberals in terms of policy, only that they planned to repeal the puppy farms laws that had been put in place. I love dogs, so that was a pretty big one for me.

          I'm kinda annoyed that I pretty much hadn't heard any policies from anyone really. =/

            Like I have said before, it has all become picking the best from a bad bunch.

              Yeah. I had difficulty deciding between the animal aid party and the greens as I hadn't heard either of their policies. Didn't wanna accidentally vote for a party that would force me to go vegan. =P
              State election is a bit easier, federal I have no f-ing clue who to vote for. They're all horrible.

                At least you're looking at what they have on offer. Many don't bother and some are even worse by passing an opposing view of their preferred party as fact.

                Take the Greens for example. It's no secret I have a lot a beef with them, especially in matters of IT. They have repeatedly demonstrated their complete lack of understanding and have even done significant damage to IT based sectors but many still laud them for their efforts.

                But that aside, like you I have no idea who to vote for these days either as there is no guarantee they'll keep to their word.

                I don't know if this will work for you but I found it easier to look at what is on offer, try and find out what the preference deals are, and keep the worst contender out by making sure the member is both at the bottom of the card but also those above do not trickle down their preferences.

                  I guess that's kinda the good thing about Daniel Andrews. He has done a lot of the stuff he said he would, good and bad

                  @scree. Yes and no.

                  He said he would tear up the East-West link contract and would pay no compensation.

                  While it is true that he tear it up and a lot of undesirables were found but I get back to that in a moment.

                  The second part though, sadly he failed on. Victoria had to pay up.

                  As for the first part, that really caused a large flow on effect. While it was found that the Liberals were planning to use tolls to meet costs, that problem has been overshadowed by Andrews' method of tearing up the contract.

                  Like it or not, confidentiality is a necessary evil with many agreements and not just those between contractors and state and/or federal governments.

                  In tearing up the contract in a grand standish manner, Andrews has sent a message to businesses the nation over that Victoria is not a good place to do business. Liberal or Labor, Andrews has shown that it is possible for the government of the day to unseal documents. So business confidents will be very guarded from here on out and such businesses will now turn to other states.

                  I could go on, but I think I have beaten up both sides enough now. As my post history shows, once I start, there is no stopping me when it comes to tearing apart politicians.

                  The point I'm making is despite having done far more damage than even Matthew Guy has done, Andrews is safe because he's not Liberal.

        I don't know where you heard that. Labor has committed $1.5 billion to building a new hospital in Footscray, and the existing one will remain open until that is completed.

          If Labor gets in. That's why I voted for them.
          The one that's open now, is falling apart rapidly. It has 3 boilers that are so old, that they had to canabalize one to fix the others as they can't get the parts for them any more.
          The staff have a contingency plan if a second boiler fails as they use it to heat the hospital and sterilize equipment.

      Yeah I mean when it comes to choosing between a candidate without ties to Melbourne's criminal underworld and a candidate with ties to Melbourne's criminal underworld I'm pretty sure I know who I'd rather have in charge.

      Guy is (probably) a criminal who (very likely) took massive kickbacks from the building industry when he was planning minister. Hilariously, more than a few of his campaign promises are 'I will fix this thing that I messed up when I was planning minister but am blaming on Labor in the hope no one remembers that'.

        Dont you know?

        The motto for Liberals is:

        "When in doubt, Blame Labor"

          In fairness, that pretty much goes for both parties at all levels or government; If in doubt, just blame the other guys :P

            It's everyone's fault but ours.

    Work with games industry representatives and relevant Victorian tertiary institutions to ensure that game development courses meet industry expectations;

    Meaningless. All it really means is they would meet with industry leaders and have a chat. That's all. Nothing will be changed.

    Continue to provide direct assistance to developers for the marketing and promotion of their games;

    Dont think the liberals know how the internet works or how indie game development works.

    Lobby the Federal Government to expand the eligibility criteria for the existing 40% production offset to include games projects or introduce a new offset that applies to games content

    Given the next federal government is more than likely to be a different party, They would ignore Matthew guy on the unlikely chance he was even elected.

    Continue to support major events such as Melbourne International Games Week (started by the Liberal Nationals in 2014), and the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) (brought to Melbourne by the Liberal Nationals) and the annual Games Connect Asia Pacific conference as well as the attendance of games industry developers at major international conferences and events.

    I'm sure gamers would love to meet the guy who wasted their money covering up his corruption in Ventnor

    Review screen industry training courses through University/TAFE to ensure that industry practitioners are receiving training that is fit for purpose;

    You mean those TAFE companies that you and your federal buddies cut funding too? Funny that.

    Fund the development of a new "Filming in Victoria" locations resource (including a mobile app) to consolidate location and other relevant filming information

    We all know how the government made apps go. And how is this relevant to gamers?

    Matthew guy is a joke. And unless you are a lobster or a Developer he wont be interested.

      Should have clarified you meant property developer, not software developer. :P

        i would take a promise to prevent the tertiary education courses turning into an SJW hugbox...

          1. What does your comment have to do with zak's reply?
          2. Where is your evidence of your claims?

            1. I didn't actually mean to reply to zak and i didn't check the post after i posted because i was finished at work i just submit and then closed chrome i'm terribly sorry to have triggered your comment section PTSD

            2. i made no claims therefore i have no obligation to supply any evidence for claims i never made which if you think about it i couldn't possibly do anyway

            3. no seriously read my post again i didn't make any claims i simply shared an example of a promise that would make me happy

            (i did mean to post this as a reply to djbear)

              prevent the tertiary education courses turning into an SJW hugbox...

              Thats your claim.

              What is turning TAFE courses into what you claim are SJW hugboxes.

              Put up or shut up.

                moderators keep nuking my comments for nothing... useless apes

                part of the Quote there is the word prevent, you cant prevent something that has already happened therefore my genius friend i can't possibly be making the claim that TAFE courses are a hugbox.

                I don't care how many times my comments get nuked from orbit i will not allow you the last word on this because you are just completely wrong which is unfortunate because i usually like what you have to say.

      I still remember it was the SA liberals AG that blocked the introduction of the R18 rating for games for YEARS.

      I even wrote him a letter and got a wonderfully sarcastic and condewcending hand written response in reply.

    I would invest/appreciate more in gaming if I could afford housing.

    Classic Aus politics to appeal to interest area in a hollow way to win votes, while not being prepared to make expensive and long term changes to secure the future for us and the current gen of teens and kids.

      I mean it should be telling when one party wants to fund more healthcare, Hospitals and schools while the other wants to buy everyone TV's and fridges.

      One party wants to and has built and improved Victoria.

      The other one just has a leader who wants to dine on lobsters with mobsters.

    This is interesting considering the Federal LNP are the ones that screwed gamers by changing the way the Federal Labour party wanted the NBN to work as FTTP which made sense as this was meant to be a national infrastructure project which is the same thing as the snowy mountain hydro scheme or even the installation of the current copper network.

    The NBN should never have been a politicised and both parties should have worked together as FTTP is an infrastructure project.

    Now the State LNP want to suck-up to us gamers, when we all know Federal always overrules State in any decisions and considering what the LNP has done to Victorians in the distribution of GST funds, I can't see Matthew Guy and the LNP actually delivering on any of these "promises".

    They forgot Point 8: Support making the rating system even stricter to appease the Christian Lobby.

    With only 3 days left until Election Day I'll still be backing Matthew Guy and the Victorian Liberal Party but not Daniel Andrews from the Victorian Labor Party though.
    It's game over for Daniel Andrews meaning Daniel Andrews has gotta go and I mean it.
    The Victorian Liberals should definitely back ourselves as gamers as we are heading to the next State and Federal Election next year.
    I don't wanna have to go visiting the voting polls time and time again just to cast my vote on either the Labor Party or the Coalition Party.
    But as I said I'm still backing the Coalition Party and I hope Matthew Guy wins this year's election.

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