Australia gov calls for feedback on games fund

Australia gov calls for feedback on games fund
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

December 10th 2012 at 10:44AM

First call for applications expected to be made as soon as April next year

Screen Australia has called on local developers to provide feedback on the recently announced $20million games fund.

The government agency has released a discussion paper for industry professionals to offer their thoughts on how the scheme should be implemented, and sets out four objectives of the fund.

The objectives are to promote industry growth and sustainability, support the development of new intellectual property, encourage skills retention and renewal and to maximise the creative opportunities of fast broadband.

Screen Australia expects to make its first call for applications to the fund as soon as April next year.

Forms of investment being considered include pre-production, production and enterprise funding.

Enterprise funding proposes a hybrid model of support, in which applicants can request funds associated with some operating costs, early-stage development and project-specific support.

Pre-production funding is intended to support developers in creating a new prototype or beta version of their game to demonstrate its core mechanic and features, as well as associated materials such as key art and game and technical design documentation.

Production funding meanwhile would help finance games where a vertical slice has already been produced to effectively demonstrate the game’s core mechanics and may have received commitment from investors.

“Ensuring Australians continue to develop and publish games is important to our economic and creative well-being,” said Screen Australia chief exec Ruth Harley.

“With 92 per cent of Australian households having a device for playing computer games, game playing is a mainstream Australian past time. In fact, the average adult gamer has been playing for 12 years and is 32 years of age and women now make up 47 per cent of the total gaming population.

“In Australia, the market is expected to grow at a rate of 7.4 per cent to reach $2.2 billion in 2016. However, this growth in consumer demand doesn’t necessarily translate into benefits for local games developers unless we can stem the tide of talent being driven offshore and falling foreign investment.

“This is not a sector that can or should be ignored. It is a sector of the economy with real growth potential and with a compelling creative voice. Without government support for the sector this voice will continue to fade.”

The deadline for feedback on the $20m games fund is January 25th.

Visit the official website for more information.