Innovation Minister Louise Asher has pledged AUD$1.5 million spread across three years, in a move welcomed by the Game Developers’ Association of Australia.
It’s contingent on the state government winning re-election, mind, but it still remains the only major positive funding news to reach local developers’ ears in some time.
Victoria is already a gaming powerhouse in Australia, housing some forty per cent of the nation’s developers, but Asher is aiming the fund at attracting more companies to the state. These aren’t limited to game developers, but also include the likes of PAX Australia as well as ‘industry development and skills development’ for those already developing there.
"I’m the economic minister, and I can see the economic merits of these things, but I can also see the passion and the energy," Asher told The Age. "I’m interested in the employment of young people," Ms Asher elaborated. "This is an industry where young people are establishing businesses. There are very high levels of youth unemployment right across Australia, and this is an area where young people can be employed."
“The Victorian government has always led the way nationally in its support of the local game development industry and in Minister Asher the sector has a senior government representative that has made a concerted effort to understand the economic, cultural and creative importance of the games industry,” said Antony Reed, CEO of the GDAA, who added that the funding decision was made by Asher of her own volition and understanding of the local industry’s needs.
“It was abundantly clear when the Minister informed me of the funding promise that she had identified several challenges faced by the industry that could be addressed by a small amount of government intervention."