Australia awaits last-gasp tax relief package

Australia awaits last-gasp tax relief package

By Rob Crossley

November 15th 2011 at 10:24AM

Screen Australia outlines plan to aid both large and small projects

The Australian government’s key funding body is proposing a comprehensive tax credit package for both big and small game development projects – a measure that is hoped will remedy the nation’s embattled industry.

Screen Australia is proposing a 30 per cent tax credit on project above AU$500,000, and 20 per cent on game budgets above AU$200,000.

Ruth Harley, the newly appointed Screen Australia CEO, announced the proposals at this week’s Game Connect Asia Pacific show in Melbourne (atendees pictured).

Many attendees had expected the announcement would have be more affirmative than a proposal, but MCV Pacific understands that the Federal government has been engaged with Screen Australia in drafting the recommendations.

The reform package comes off the back of a tumultuous time for the Australian games development industry.

Closures of key Australian studios, from Team Bondi to Krome to two THQ studios, has left the nation with a vast reserve of development talent yet doubts over how they will find work in games development.

Screen Australia’s solution is to stimulate game development across the entire platform pipeline, from smartphones to living-room devices.

"We're interested in connecting all audiences through screens,” Harley said.

“We know we can connect people through film and television screens, but we know that we can also connect people through your [game] screens as well," she added.

Antony Reed, the CEO of the Game Developers' Association of Australia, said “no partnership has been more important for the games industry than Screen Australia."

MCV-Pacific has more details of the reform package