The Australian Interactive Games Fund, $20 million pledged for Australian games developers

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Earlier this year, one of our members felt the need to ask the question "Where are you?" to the Games Developers Association of Australia (GDAA)...

(Shane) Let me be straight up and blunt, I don't know what the GDAA now now does or ever did for the Computer games industry in Australia. There I said it, may the roof fall on my head, the sky open up and 10 ravens peck my precious eyes out.

It was a legitimate concern, perhaps partly due to the GDAA's fairly subdued media presence since undergoing a major restructure back in 2010.

A lot has happened since the posting of that message, and with the latest rounds of news coming from the folks at the GDAA, those concerns should certainly been have allayed by now.

After organising another successful GCAP conference for this year, the GDAA have surprised and impressed many by securing PAX Australia for Melbourne next year. It's the first time a PAX event has ever been organised outside of North America and PAX Australia 2013 promises to be a huge affair, featuring a special ANZ indie booth which will showcase to the world 20 of the most outstanding indie developers that Australasia has to offer.

Topping that news would be an extraordinary task, but the GDAA managed to do so with their huge part on the The Australian Interactive Games Fund which was announced at the Screen Producers Association of Australia National Conference in Melbourne yesterday by Federal Arts Minister, Simon Crean. The initiative is specific to the local games industry, and the Australian government has promised to pledge $20 million in support over the next three years. From Gamespot AU...

(Crean) "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"...

"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.

Gamespot AU reports that Screen Australia are consulting with the local games development sector on drawing up the guidelines for the fund, and that "A$5 million will be distributed "A$5 million per annum in 2012-13, and will jump to A$10 million per annum in 2014-15". For the full report, head on over to Gamespot AU...

Comments

Anonymous's picture

I really hope it ain't Screen Australia that administers this. That might be an easy short-term fix but it will be one that the greater game development industry, especially outside of Victoria, will pay for in the long-term.

This fund should be administered by the game development industry, not film industry, and I hope the GDAA is on top of this to make this a certainty.

Anonymous's picture

Honestly, I think other incentives like what Canada has done with tax breaks is a better idea than just handing out money. Just look at the industry over there, it's booming.

souri's picture

Thinking it as an easy handout is a bit disingenuous considering the amount of paperwork and peer review that's required to gain and retain incentives like these. In any case, I think other incentives like tax breaks would be beneficial too, it's not like you have to choose one from the other.