In late 2010, the NSW Government announced the Digital Media Initiative and it was the first time Sydney games developers saw the same kind of opportunity for support that other developers in Victoria and Queensland received in their state. The initiative was later refined as the Interactive Media Fund with $4.5 million worth of support pledged for the creation of creative digital content over the course of 3 years. Sydney indie developers who received some funding from the initiative included DinoRoar, Uppercut Games, VagabondArmy, Epiphany Games, and Nnooo.
The initiative is now reaching the end of its three year run in June where it will then be undergoing a review to see if the program will continue. Sydney indie games developer, Nnooo, has written an open letter to Andrew Stone, NSW Minister for Trade and Investment, urging for the continuation of the IMF and also encouraging other Sydney developers to write in to support its continuation.
The open letter covers the hardships that small studios like Nnooo endure as an independent games developer in NSW, and how the studio benefited from the fund by being able to employ additional staff to bring their escapeVektor title to new platforms. Nnooo believes that funding schemes like the IMF are vital in pushing the Sydney games development industry forward.
From Nnooo's open letter:
We need funds like the Interactive Media Fund to help grow smaller companies so that they have the experience and talent needed to move onto the next level. Without funds like this it is more likely that NSW will revert back to how it was in 2006; a state with few full time, professional games development companies, with most of the video game development talent based in Victoria and Queensland.
If you look at where we are now as a state we have changed and grown so much in the last 6 years and a large part of that is down to funds like the Interactive Media Fund. We now have an increasing number of small studios just starting out on their journey...
Read Nnooo's entire open letter on their blog here. Nnooo have also helpfully supplied Andrew Stone's contact details and an email template for other Sydney games developers to use.