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10 03 2022 - Media release

Screen Australia launches Games: Expansion Pack fund to support Australian games

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L to R: Ron Curry (CEO, IGEA), Matt Giblin (Senior 3D Artist, Not Doppler), Mia Crow (Digital Designer, Not Doppler), Jason Daskalopoulos (GM, Not Doppler), The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, John Daskalopoulos (CEO, Not Doppler), Rachel Toomeh (Product Manager, Not Doppler), Michael Brealey (COO, Screen Australia) (Photo credit: Faro Photography)

Screen Australia is pleased to announce the new Games: Expansion Pack fund to support Australian game studios. Targeted at emerging or small to medium independent game studios, this initiative will provide direct funding for original games with budgets below $500,000.

Screen Australia will commit up to $6 million over the next two years. This includes up to $3 million to be allocated in the 2021/22 financial year. Games can be for any video game platform including PC, mobile and console.

Also intended to commence this year is the Federal Government’s Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) which will support the development of higher budget video games, allowing those with a qualifying Australian expenditure of over $500,000 to receive a 30% tax offset. Intended to operate from 1 July 2022, it will also support ongoing development of games already released to the market at the same rate.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said, “The Morrison Government is backing the Australian digital games sector all the way, with our ground breaking commitment to a 30 per cent tax offset for digital games, which will supercharge investment into digital games in Australia.

“While the eligibility condition for the digital tax offset—a minimum of $500,000 spent on qualifying Australian games expenditure from 1 July 2022—means that it is targeted at digital games studios that have reached a certain minimum scale, we also want to encourage smaller games studios to be able to build to reach this scale.

“This initiative by Screen Australia therefore is highly complementary to the Digital Games Tax Offset, and part of our integrated plan to boost the sector and support digital games studios at all stages of their growth.”

Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason said, “The games sector is a fast-growing space and very important part of the Australian screen ecosystem. Australians working in the games sector are making names for themselves internationally in what is an extremely competitive industry. Screen Australia is delighted to be able to support the sustainability of our local industry.”

“Through the Games: Expansion Pack we aim to enable independent Australian studios to advance the ambition and quality of their digital games, and transition into businesses of scale to better compete in the global market. We are pleased to support them to develop original ideas and, together with the Federal Government’s DGTO, help expand on the highly skilled workforce we have in Australia,” Mason continued.

APPLYING FOR GAMES: EXPANSION PACK

In the first round of funding, open now, applications will be open to small and medium independent studios. This eligibility may be expanded to include larger studios in the 2022/23 financial year.

The Games: Expansion Pack will be managed by Screen Australia’s Online department. The guidelines and application portal are available here

Screen Australia and IGEA will be hosting a virtual Q and A Webinar at 4pm on Wednesday 16th March. Practitioners interested in applying are strongly encouraged to attend the webinar. Register for this webinar here


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