Victoria expands screen industry funding to include video games

The Victorian Government has expanded the funding for local screen industries, including video game studios for the very first time.

Media releases from Creative Victoria and Film Victoria have stated that the Victoria State Government have invested an additional $33.8 million into the Victorian Screen Incentive. Besides film and television, the fund is also directed towards video game production.

While attracting international and interstate projects to Victoria is nothing new, video game companies will be included in the $19.2 million set aside for this specific purpose for the first time. $4.7 million will be support the production of local content.

Florence Game
Image: Mountains

As of now, Melbourne, Victoria has been a surprisingly vibrant area for indie games. Two of the most notable titles that have come from our southern cousins have been the game with no name, Untitled Goose Game, and the more heartfelt story game Florence.

However, this increase of funding could soon bring some major international studios Down Under (or specifically Victoria, thanks Gladys). Call of Duty devs Sledgehammer Games are opening a studio in Melbourne and are hiringKerbal Space Program and The Outer Worlds publisher Private Division will also be publishing Melbourne-based League of Geeks’ latest IP.

With Victoria finally out of the COVID-19 woods, life is making a slow return to normal, and it’s stellar to see the Andrews government investing in the creative industries. Besides games, the film production industry could be thriving; Hollywood action movie Blacklight — starring Liam Neeson — is set to start shooting this week. The production will involve more than 1,000 people, but will adhere to COVIDSafe protocols.

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) — which represents the Australian and New Zealander video game industry — praised the move from the Victoria State Government in a media release of their own.

IGEA highlighted that while the funding will help build upon the original intellectual properties from the local industry, there was still a long way to go to fulfil the full potential of international investment.

CEO of IGEA, Ron Curry, said:

We again ask the Australian Government to do its part by providing a federal tax offset for game development, just like it does to the rest of the screen production industry… we can exponentially grow the local game development industry and attract the hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, that is waiting to be invested in Australia. Australia has the ability to create a $1 billion industry in game development, providing much needed export revenue and the creation of 10,000 new highly-skilled and innovation focused full-time jobs.