Published on July 20th, 2023 | by Adrian Gunning
Screen Australia announces over $3 million in support of the digital games industry
First launched in March 2022, Screen Australia’s Games: Expansion Pack is targeted at emerging or small to medium independent game studios and provides direct funding for original Australian games with budgets below $500,000. It has distributed over $8 million to 62 Australian games since its inception. Screen Australia will reopen games funding rounds on 2 October 2023.
Screen Australia announced today two successful studios that have been selected to each receive $300,000 through the First Nations Games Studio fund. They are GUCK and Awesome Black. This fund was launched in May to support games studios led by First Nations game developers and is the first of its kind on a national scale.
Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke said, “It’s fantastic that Screen Australia now has the funding it needs for video games. That’s why we set up these dedicated funds for this growing and important industry – supporting local games developers.”
Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason said, “It was amazing to see the high volume of incredibly strong applications for this latest round of Games: Expansion Pack and also for the inaugural First Nations Games Studio fund. These projects and these studios represent a fantastic mix of exciting games from talented creators around the country and it is great to be able to support them to accelerate their skills and talent, and to bring their creative visions to life. We are so proud of the level of talent in the games industry in Australia, and feel the best is yet to come for our games developers both locally and on the international stage.”
This announcement comes after the Federal Government introduced the Digital Games Tax Offset to provide projects with budgets over $500,000 with a 30% tax incentive. This investment has been coupled with an additional $12 million over four years from 2023/24 to support digital games developers and small and medium independent games studios through Screen Australia.
It was recently outlined in the 2021/22 Australian Bureau of Statistics film, television and digital games survey that Australia’s digital games sector has experienced substantial growth since the previous 2015/16 survey. It reported that the sector experienced a 265% increase in income, a 68% increase in the number of games produced and a 203% increase in employment amongst digital game developers – the largest growth across all sectors in the Australian screen industry.
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