Development association GDAA demands Federal government grants

Australian developers renew call for government support

After lobbying and writing letters asking for the Australian Federal authorities to support games developers financially, the Game Development Association of Australia has called once again for the government to get behind the games industry.

A report in IT Wire quotes CEO of the GDAA Greg Bondar as saying: "We have been trying to get the government to hear us for a very long time but as yet, we have not had any success. We want the government to give the electronic games industry the economic benefit of a 40 per cent rebate in the 2008 Federal budget, as they have done for the Australian film industry."

As an election looms in Australia, the timing of the call is not a coincidence. Quebec already famously supports local interactive entertainment companies with generous tax breaks, while only earlier this week the EC said it had set up a game fund of €1.5m for developers.

Added Bondar: "The electronic games industry is already a significant contributor to the Australian economy. It’s also part of a larger global entertainment industry, which is now bigger than the film industry and is a major area of export for the Australian economy. Unfortunately, the future growth of the industry is dependent on government support. A government rebate will enable our industry to grow, compete on a global scale, employ more Australian talent and make a bigger contribution to our economy.

"We know that our local industry has the capacity to become the same sort of global ‘centre’ of game development as Canada, we just need the leg up to get there.

"Based on our current industry standing and projected earnings, we conservatively estimate that if a 40% rebate was extended to game developers in Australia, this would lead to an additional $25 million in new investment into original Australian titles each year."

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