IGEA celebrates the announcement from The Hon Tony Burke MP that the Australian Interactive Games Fund will be restored. Minister Burke and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese launched the Australian National Cultural Policy today, and the inclusion of games is a significant moment in history for our sector.
IGEA was an active advocate for games in the development of the National Cultural Policy, and in our submission and continual engagement with the Office for the Arts, we recommended the launch of a game development fund beyond the $6 million that had been awarded to Screen Australia for the Games: Expansion Pack.
The restoration of the Australian Interactive Games Fund (AIGF) has been a key focus of IGEA’s advocacy for many years as it will provide much-needed and equitable funding for small to medium Australian video game creators. According to the Revive National Cultural Policy, there will be a $12 million increase in investment to support small to medium independent games studios through Screen Australia. The Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) set to pass through parliament any week now is focused on larger scale projects/studios and, together with the return of the AIGF, lays a solid foundation for a thriving game development ecosystem in Australia.
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA commented, “Not only is IGEA and the games industry celebrating the funding and further commitment from the Albanese government for the development sector, but we are also delighted to see games positioned within the broader national cultural, screen, and creative industries. This commitment recognizes that Australian game developers have an essential role to play in the digital delivery of stories to local and international audiences. We look forward to reading more details on the fund and will work with the great team at Screen Australia to educate the industry on accessing the support.”
The official statement from the IGEA is as follows:
IGEA is heartened by today’s policy announcement from the Federal Labor party announcing that, if elected, they will re-introduce an interactive games fund of $25 million to be invested over three years. This investment in the Australian games development industry has been informed by the experience of the former Australian Interactive Games Fund (axed by the Liberal Government in 2014) and will contribute to export revenue, innovation, and highly skilled jobs with transferrable skills for Australians.
“IGEA and our members are encouraged and grateful for this commitment from the Labor Party who recognize that game development is an industry of the future and is worth supporting. Australian game developers are creative, talented, resilient, and ready to lead and grow the digital revolution,” says Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association. “Should the Labor Party win the election, we are ready to work with them on the re-establishment of the fund to deliver successful outcomes for the industry”.
Curry also notes that this is one of the number of support mechanisms IGEA is seeking on behalf of the local games development industry and looks forward to working closely with all sides of the political landscape to establish a comprehensive and integrated support plan to position Australia as a leader in a global $200B business.
“IGEA has spent a considerable amount of time, effort, and funding informing and educating politicians, advisers, and public servants advocating for the industry and highlighting the opportunities Australia is missing, culminating in a release of our policy paper, Building a Thriving Interactive Games Development Industry. It is very encouraging that Federal Labor has acknowledged this potential.”
This is great news for Australian video game development. Thanks to the previous version of this Fund has helped in the creation of such Australian-made hits like Untitled Goose Game, Unpacking, Moving Out, and the upcoming Rooftop Renegade.