Huge cash injection for the Australian video game industry

The independent game scene celebrates a massive cash initiative from Screen Australia that makes them more competitive on the global stage!

Though they might not have as much notoriety as a AAA title, indie games can be better (Hollow knight, anyone?). For the first time since 2014, Australian independent game studios will be granted access to federal screen funding thanks to a newly introduced initiative.

Screen Australia and the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts are the teams making the $6 million initiative possible over the next two years, and it’s fantastic news for the industry.

australian games studio chaos theory
Image: Australian Games Studio Chaos Theory

Games: Expansion Pack is an initiative that aims to support the many aspects of independent game development financially, whether it be through the creation of more employment opportunities, facilitating the growth of studios and business sizes, or by elevating the quality of games for local and international distribution.

Ron Curry, CEO of Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), commented, “Screen Australia’s Games: Expansion Pack is a very welcome addition to the suite of already announced government funding for Australian game developers and signals that games are an integral part of the screen industry.”

Games Expansion Pack announced
Image: Screen Australia and the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts / IGEA

Mr curry continued with, “The Federal Government has consulted very closely with IGEA and the Australian game development sector to commit to the introduction of the Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO), a globally competitive tax incentive of 30% to be launched on 1 July 2022.”

Mr Curry finished by saying, “Coupled with the new Games: Expansion Pack initiative, we expect to see accelerated growth for highly creative and skilled Australian games studios and practitioners.”

Games Expansion Pack live conference
Image: Games: Expansion Pack live conference / IGEA

The DGTO will provide $1.2 billion over six years from 2021-22 for the Digital Economy Strategy to companies who exceed a yearly expenditure of $500,000 to support Australia as a leading digital economy and society by 2030.

Applications are currently open for small to medium independent studios in Australia, with successful applicants receiving up to $150,000. There will also be a live conference around the Screen Australia initiative for groups wanting to learn more.