Supporting the Australian Video Game/Digital Arts Industry
In 2015, Australians spent $2.832 billion on video games. Digital sales accounted for $1.589 billion of that figure. When we look at the global market, worth well over $100bn annually, the potential for local game developers is huge. Up to 95% of revenue can come from overseas, making game development a net export market for the local industry, bringing new wealth into the country.
As an emergent art form that has become bigger than all others, bar cinema, we believe that it is well past time that the games sector was recognised politically as both a key creative and economic opportunity for Australia. Currently, there is no direct support for games at a federal government level.
- We want the return of the Interactive Games Fund, cancelled by the current government, with a DOUBLING of its original funding. This would constitute a $40 million investment over three years, designed to encourage innovative new approaches and start-ups in the digital arts and video gaming/entertainment industry. Critically, we believe this funding should be invested primarily through multiple-year grants.
- Game development businesses in particular, require more than single project work to be sustainable, and by helping to support the hiring of talent, attend shows and develop marketing collateral, we can create a thriving and profitable industry in Australia.
- We believe the Interactive Games Fund should be focused on helping homegrown Australian companies to grow into sustainable businesses, rather than produce a single digital product or game.
- To further support this aim, we want the establishment of a Digital Funding body, which would take responsibility for encouraging both video game companies and other emergent and digital-orientated projects to achieve success. The video game industry operates on very different business models, and has very different creative and commercial challenges, compared to the film or television industries. In recognition of this they deserve a tailored approach.
- We also want video game companies to be able access to the Australian Producers Offset, currently supporting Film & TV projects. This would give a much-needed boost to investment in small and medium-sized Australian games companies.
- We applaud the recent initiative of the GDAA and the Victorian government in creating and supporting The Arcade, a shared working space that supports small games enterprises. It is an excellent template, transferable to the whole nation. We call on all state governments to mirror this initiative in supporting their own start-ups.
- Finally, given the importance of technology in all our lives, we also support ongoing coding in schools initiatives as a key part of media arts education for a creative future.
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