In a historical move, the Australian Federal Government is officially supporting games by offering a tax incentive for video game development.
You’re probably already used to numerous politicians haphazardly referencing video games, often quoting them to be terrible influences on society. But the latest decision from the Australian government supporting games is the unexpected, once-in-a-blue-moon decision that’s a ray of sunshine for the gaming industry.
An official press release straight from the Prime Minster, Treasurer, Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy has revealed that the video game industry in Australia will be granted a tax offset of 30% in the 2022 federal budget.
This decision comes as part of the Morrison government’s Digital Economy Strategy, which is currently being overseen by the Senator the Hon Jane Hume. For statistics’ sake, this plan includes a total of $1.2 billion AUD allocated in the upcoming federal budget. On a deeper note as well, it also means that video games are being acknowledged as an important entertainment source, along with traditional cinematic screens.
The official statement from the government indicates their intention to incentivise and support business growth, as they unveil the Digital Games Tax Offset as part of a larger plan to have Australia take on a larger share of the global game development market in areas such as intellectual property and in-house software, which is estimated to be worth around $250 billion.
Naturally, the Australian Federal Government declaring their support for games catalysed waves of joy throughout many in the video game industry, including the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA).
The CEO of IGEA, Ron Curry said:
“This is a very welcomed day for Australian-made video games. We congratulate the Prime Minister, Minister Hume, the Minister for the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher MP and the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg MP for recognising not only that video games have an important place alongside TV and film in Australian screen production and storytelling, but also their unparalleled potential for supercharging Australia’s exports, attracting vast inward investment, and up-skilling a whole new generation of Australian digital workers.”
“The Government’s new investment commitment today will do many things. It will spur the creation of brand new Australian game development studios, give existing Australian studios the support they need to take on ambitious new projects and accelerate their growth, plus attract further blockbuster AAA studios to Australia, all of which will create game development jobs in every state.”
Unlike other statements made by Australian politicians, it’s heartening to know that the games market is being tapped into and supported by the government. With this move, here’s to hoping we’ll get some revolutionary new games coming from the land down under like Hollow Knight – which, in case you didn’t know, was created by Team Cherry, who are Australian developers.
And who knows, Australia could be the next underdog of the global gaming industry.