Screenplay reports that Melbourne game developers have suffered a set back as support supplied by Film Victoria's Digital Media Fund has been halved by the Victorian Government. The Digital Media Fund has been extremely beneficial for the Melbourne games industry in sparking new opportunities and helping developers realise their goals. In a recent budget announcement, only $1 million would be provided to game initiatives for the next two years, sparking disappointment from the Games Developer Association of Australia (GDAA) as well as Melbourne game developers.
Tony Reed, CEO of the GDAA, expressed his thoughts on the importance of the fund to Screenplay...
Without question, Film Victoria has been a strong advocate for the creation and delivery of original content, offering programs that have allowed Victorian studios to develop games for a global audience which ultimately generate jobs for the local industry," said Mr Reed.
"The Film Victoria Digital Media Fund has enabled some of Victoria's most creative minds to develop truly unique concepts and directly encouraged the investment of millions of dollars into the Victorian game development industry."
Infinite Interactive, a Melbourne games developer who in the past benefited from the initiative with their break-out hit, Puzzle Quest, also shared their response to the announcement...
"I am extremely disappointed to hear that Film Victoria's budget has been slashed," said Infinite's CEO Steve Fawkner. "After a very tough year for the Australian games industry, we need the government to show some support, not turn their backs on us like this."
The funding cut-back decision has puzzled many considering the Victorian Government's stance on game development as a "growing local industry with high commercial potential", as well as the numerous export awards received by Victorian game developers over the years. It would seem that the rise of independent games development and the burgeoning opportunities in DLC market space would mean that an increase to the Digital Media Fund would make much better sense.