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Screen Australia invests $3 million into gaming as part of the country’s digital entertainment goals

Screen Australia has revealed a significant investment of $3 million in the development of 21 games through its Games: Expansion Pack and First Nations Games Studio funds. These games, covering various genres and platforms, are being created by teams across the country.

The Games: Expansion Pack fund, introduced in March 2022, targets small-to-medium independent game studios working on projects with budgets below $500,000. Since its launch, the fund has already allocated over $8 million to support the development of 62 games, with an average investment of $129,000. The next games funding rounds will reopen on October 2.

In addition, the First Nations Games Studio fund, launched in May 2023, focuses on game studios led by First Nations developers. Out of the total $3 million, $600,000 was invested in two studios, GUCK and Awesome Black, with each receiving $300,000. One of GUCK's upcoming titles, Future Folklore, is an innovative farming game set in a futuristic Australian bush environment and designed for mobile devices. More details about the game will be unveiled over the next year.

Governments and media groups worldwide are increasingly investing in the digital entertainment industry, as gaming attracts a growing number of consumers. Mobile studios, in particular, benefit from direct investment and tax incentives due to the accessibility and profitability of the platform, as well as lower development costs and quicker turnaround times compared to console or PC games. The Australian Federal Government has also recently introduced the Digital Games Tax Offset, offering a 30% tax incentive for gaming projects with budgets over $500,000, showcasing the country's commitment to expanding its gaming presence globally.

Australian Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, expressed enthusiasm for Screen Australia's funding for video games, emphasizing the support for local games developers. Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason expressed his delight in receiving numerous strong applications for the latest rounds of Games: Expansion Pack and First Nations Games Studio funds, recognizing the talent and creativity of game developers in Australia. Despite the investment from government sources, Australia's gaming industry continues to face some challenges in attracting venture capital, with only $7 million invested in Q2.

Source: Lewis Rees, Staff Writer at PocketGamer

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