Game Developers Association of Australia wants same tax credits as film industry

Australian developers demand government support

The games development association for Australia has today called for the country’s Federal Government to provide studios with the same tax credits recently awarded to the local film industry.

Recently, the Australian government announced federal tax incentives for film investment which saw a 40 per cent rebate for those making movies in the country.

The move was designed to encourage more film productions in the country – and now the GDAA wants the games industry to get the same treatment.

"The Federal Government could do much to learn from the Canadian government which has created over 10,000 jobs in video game development over the past four years through the right financial incentives," said association president Tom Crago and CEO Greg Bondar in a joint statement.

The official statement released by the GDAA added: "The video game industry in Australia is in a unique position to attract much of the current AUD$30bn international industry and all that is required are sensible tax concessions for international investors – exactly what the exceedingly well looked after film industry receives.

"It is now critical that the Federal Government starts to recognise the economic contribution of the video game industry in Australia.

"The GDAA now calls on the Federal Government to immediately review its commitment to the interactive entertainment industry by also extending the 40 per cent film rebate to the video game industry."

The GDAA reckons that the Australian games industry could grow from its current figure of 8,500 (which breaks down to 2,000 for development, 1,500 for publishing and distribution, and 5,000 for retail) to 18,000 by 2010 with the appropriate government support.

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