Independent Australian game developers have today been provided with a $6 million stimulant, as the sector recorded a decline in income and employment numbers.
International publishers have vacated Australia in recent year for territories offering greater incentives and lower business costs. As a result, today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey shows employment levels falling from 1431 to 581 people.
The challenge for the independent Australian game developer, said Australia’s media trade body, has been how to grow the business, retain intellectual property, keep a skilled workforce and raise the necessary finance.
“Given that game development is the fastest growing sector of the worldwide audiovisual market from a consumer perspective, Australian developers should share in the $80 billion global market,” Screen Australia’s COO Fiona Cameron.
“Screen Australia’s Game Enterprise program provides a diverse range of Australian companies with valuable funds to help develop original IP, employ more people, including promoting internships, and expand distribution and marketing opportunities.
The ten successful Games Enterprise program recipient companies will receive the funding over a three-year period. They are (in alphabetical order):
- Defiant Development (QLD) Morgan Jaffit, Dan Treble
- ODD Games (SA) Ben Marsh, Terry O’Donoghue, David O’Donoghue
- Soap Creative (NSW) Ashley Ringrose, Bradley Eldridge
- Tantalus Media (VIC) Tom Crago
- Tin Man Games (VIC) Ben Britten Smith, Neil Rennison
- Torus Games (VIC) Bill McIntosh
- Twiitch (VIC) Steven Spagnolo, Shane Stevens
- Uppercut Games (NSW/ACT) Andrew James, Ryan Lancaster, Ed Orman
- The Voxel Agents (VIC) Simon Joslin, Matthew Clark
- Wicked Witch Software (VIC) Daniel Visser
“The successful companies represent a diverse range of Australian game studios, from start up companies to larger developers. Funding will ensure an expansion in the workforce, allowing smaller developers to gain critical mass and larger developers to shift from a reliance on work for hire to developing original projects,” Cameron said.
Further details on all the 2013 Games Enterprise recipients are available here.
Federal Arts Minister Tony Burke said that the Australian Government was backing a new generation of creative entrepreneurs in the interactive games industry.
The first survey of the Australian screen production sector in five years was also released today. The digital games sector was included in the survey for the first time and recorded total income of $89.4 million. This result was down from the first-ever survey of game developers five years ago.
The deadline for Screen Australia’s Games Production fund, supporting games developers to produce individual games, is July 12; and more information on that can be found here.