By Barry de SilvaNational Communications Manager
The Federal Government’s refundable Digital Games Tax Offset of 30 per cent is an exciting prospect for gamers nationwide. Similarly, The Victorian State Government’s commitment to invest $120.7 million into the state’s screen industry, covering film, television and video games offer opportunities for jobs and growth within the sector.
SAE Games Course Committee Chair, Geoff Hill commented that these announcements will lead to a growth in studios and talent. “It’s going to mean even more job opportunities for our graduates; roles where they can develop and contribute to this growing industry,” Geoff said.
“The Australian video games industry has done well building smaller and mid-sized developers, but this tax offset means the industry can now support the larger studios.
“It also gives a clearer path for many studios to accelerate their growth – which will ultimately lead to more jobs, innovation, and a stronger video games industry in this country.”
James Parkinson, a graduate of SAE Melbourne and a Podcast Producer at Lawson Media where he presents video games podcast, Gameplay, said this is a historic moment. “The Australian games industry has quite a long history, stretching back to the 80s. Even as recently as 10 years ago, large international publishers were closing their Australian studios and leaving our shores because of the high costs of operation in Australia,” James commented.
“I hope it means we’ll see more people being able to stay in Australia, and make a living from game development, rather than needing to chase opportunities overseas. With the right foundations, the Australian games industry can really thrive.”
With the Victorian Government’s cash injection on the horizon, James added it’s great to see the games industry recognised and supported at the same level as other media.
“As we transition towards the end of the pandemic, this is the support the games industry needs, and it’s heartening to see it included alongside other screen industries. During the lockdowns in Melbourne, games showed that they were just as valuable to Victorians and the local economy as film and TV.”
SAE Australasia General Manager, Dr Luke McMillan said that these developments will have a broad impact on Australia’s contribution to the national and global media and technology industry.
“The games industry has tremendous value to Australia’s economy, particularly when we consider the role that the industry plays in terms of driving broader media and technology innovation. For example, we are seeing games technologies and processes applied to a broader and broader range of industries from mining, to medicine and beyond. By investing in our games industry, we are investing in Australia’s ability to be a global innovator in media and technology long into the future.