Screen Australia invests $3 million into gaming as part of the country’s digital | Pocket

Screen Australia Invests $3 Million in Game Development

A $3 million investment has been announced by Screen Australia to support the development of 21 games. These projects, funded through the Games: Expansion Pack and First Nations Games Studio funds, cover various genres and platforms, with development teams located across the country.

The Games: Expansion Pack fund, which was launched in March 2022, is specifically aimed at small-to-medium independent game studios working on projects with budgets below $500,000. Since its inception, the fund has already distributed over $8 million to support the development of 62 games, with an average funding amount of $129,000. The next round of games funding will open on October 2nd.

On the other hand, the First Nations Games Studio fund, launched in May 2023, focuses on supporting game studios led by First Nations developers. Out of the $3 million total investment, $600,000 has been allocated to two studios. GUCK and Awesome Black, with each studio receiving $300,000. GUCK is currently developing a futuristic farming game called Future Folklore, which draws inspiration from the Australian bush and is designed for mobile devices. More details about the game will be revealed over the next year.

Government Support and Growing the Gaming Industry

Governments and media organizations worldwide have increasingly recognized the potential of digital entertainment and have been investing in the industry. As gaming continues to attract more consumers, the mobile platform has emerged as the most accessible and profitable platform. Not only does mobile development often have lower costs and faster turnover times compared to console and PC games, but it also benefits from direct investment and tax incentives.

In line with this trend, the Federal Government of Australia recently announced the Digital Games Tax Offset, which offers a 30% tax incentive for gaming projects with budgets exceeding $500,000. This initiative reaffirms Australia’s commitment to fostering its gaming presence on the global stage.

Positive Response from Key Figures

Australian Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, expressed his enthusiasm for Screen Australia’s funding support, stating, “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 game developers.”

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason also expressed his satisfaction with the investment, highlighting the remarkable quality of the applications received for both the Games: Expansion Pack and First Nations Games Studio funds. He added, “These projects and studios represent a fantastic mix of exciting games created by talented developers from all over the country. We are proud of the level of talent in Australia’s games industry and believe that the best is yet to come for our local developers, both domestically and internationally.”

Australia’s Gaming Industry Still Faces Challenges

Despite the investments made by government entities, Australia’s gaming industry still faces some challenges in attracting venture capital. In the second quarter, venture capitals invested only $7 million in the country’s gaming industry.