Cut or not? Confusion surrounds game funding in Victoria

Newspaper report claims Victorian government has slashed game development funding; government source refused to confirm details.

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Claims made in a newspaper report published in The Age today surrounding Victorian game development funding cuts have been left unconfirmed by the Victorian government.

In the original report, The Age stated that the Victorian government has not renewed funding for Film Victoria's digital media programs, which include video game development, as part of the 2012-13 budget handed down on May 1.

However, the office for the Victorian premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu has yet to make an official statement regarding funding allocation.

"The Department of Business and Innovation's (of which Film Victoria is an agency) funding allocation was announced in the 2012-13 budget handed down by the Treasurer on May 1," a spokesperson for Baillieu's office told GameSpot AU. "The Department will now be finalising its business plan and programs to be delivered from 1 July."

Despite the Victorian government's silence on the issue, the CEO of the Game Developers' Association of Australia, Tony Reed, says the GDAA will continue to work with Film Victoria to support game development programs in the state.

"We'll continue to meet with [Film Victoria] and other associations to look at how games development will be funded," Reed told GameSpot AU. "We need to look at collaborative means that we can implement to ensure the sectors like film, television, and games are equally supported and recognised."

In October 2010, the Victorian government announced the Games Investment initiative, a funding program aimed at giving Victorian game developers financial security in the shape of up to A$100,000 per project. Wicked Witch Software, Brawsome, Play-Bit Entertainment, Big Ant Studios, and Ivan Dickson and Greg Sharp all participated in the grant money for individual projects in the first round of the initiative.

GameSpot AU will continue to update the story.

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