Australian political party The Greens has urged the country’s government to bolster the local games industry with fresh investment, initiatives and more.
Leading the party’s calls to align games with film and other creative businesses is the recommendation to extend the Producer Tax Offset to developers.
The Offset is a refundable rebate of 40 per cent designed to get TV and film projects off the ground – a courtesy that has never been handed to games.
“We have the absurd situation now where an international studio working on a huge franchise receives massive backing from the government for the film, yet local developers working on the game tie-in do not,” argued Australian Greens Communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.
The Greens have also proposed the resurrection of the Australian Interactive Games Fund, a short-lived $20 million initative launched in 2013 and subsequently dropped the following year before even half of its funds had been distributed.
Also crucial to devs is working space, a challenge that The Greens aim to counter with a $5 million fund to carve out creative spaces similar to Melbourne’s Arcade collaborative workspace, which is home to studios including Hipster Whale of Crossy Road fame.
All in all, The Greens say that they plan to invest $158 million in the games industry over the next four years, if approved by the government.
“The consensus report from our senate inquiry into the future of the industry made it clear that government can galvanise the local industry, in the form of grants, low-interest loans and tax offsets to foster growth, and to ensure that Australian talent stays in Australia,” Ludlam said.
Picture: 2003 indie title Escape from Woomera, funded by an Australia Council grant