Australian govt pledges $20m to home-grown game development

Australian Interactive Games Fund has been announced by the federal government; money will support Australian game-development studios and gamemakers over the next three years.

The Australian government has pledged $20 million over the next three years to help support the country's growing game-development industry.

Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean made the announcement today during the Screen Producers Association of Australia National Conference in Melbourne. The pledge will come as part of a newly formed Australian Interactive Games Fund, which will assist local game developers to "reclaim their competitive advantage" in the overseas market.

The Australian government wants to replicate Fruit Ninja's success.

"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," Crean said.

"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."

Crean pointed to the success of studios such as Melbourne-based Voxel Agents (Train Conductor) and Brisbane's Halfbrick Studios (Fruit Ninja) as examples of Australia's growing game-development sector, saying the creation of the Australian Interactive Games Fund is part of the federal government's investment in the future of the country's creative industries.

"New technologies are creating previously unimaginable gaming platforms, and, significantly, new modes of storytelling, which are shaping our creative industries," Crean said.

The Game Developers' Association of Australia welcomed the news, with CEO Tony Reed pointing to the $20 million fund as recognition of the "cultural and economic significance" of the local game-development sector.

"We look forward to working with the federal government to create a program that supports growth and stability, secures jobs, encourages innovation and creativity, and promotes investment in Australian talent and capability globally," Reed said.

No further details were provided on who will be eligible for the Australian Interactive Games Fund or how it will be administered, but the federal government said it has appointed Screen Australia to draw up the fund's guidelines in consultation with the local game-development sector.

According to Crean's office, the fund will deliver A$5 million per annum in 2012-13, and will jump to A$10 million per annum in 2014-15.

Stay tuned for GameSpot's interview with Simon Crean.

Written By

Want the latest news about Fruit Ninja Kinect?

Fruit Ninja Kinect

Fruit Ninja Kinect

Follow

Discussion

11 comments
GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Good i hope we see some great games developed here and not just sh*tty app games. I'm talking about real games for multi platforms, it would be great to see from Australia.

yinako
yinako

good to hear but a little late don't you think

 

AusBlackMateria
AusBlackMateria

I'm glad that the government has provided these funds to support game development studios here :) I'm interested to see how the funds will be distributed/administered. Does anyone know how $20m compares to previous funding available for studios (i.e is the amount an increase or decrease)?

trigun3x
trigun3x

20 million over 3 years? Kickstarters are getting more in only a few weeks, bit disappointing but anything is better then nothing I guess...

DarkManiaN_1979
DarkManiaN_1979

A promising step in the right direction which could hopefully lead to more developers opening their doors again.

HAZCHEM88
HAZCHEM88

Looks like it will be for only handheld crapware.

cheater87
cheater87

Now that adult games will be allowed in 2013 they just have to have the game rated  Jan 1st 2013 or after. :)

Apastron
Apastron

Obivously won't be available to any developer that attempts to make a game aimed at anyone above the age of 7 as Australia will instantly ban it.

timoe14
timoe14

 @Apastron as others have stated, from jan 1st if its for over 15s it shouldnt be banned anymore. but u still have no chance in hell of getting any of that cash for a non childrens game