The Game development industry in Australia has had rocky times recently, especially after people losing their jobs and some studios being closed, including Krome’s Adelaide office. So the announcement made by the Federal Government for a Research and Development Tax Credit to the Industry comes as great news for the future.
Announced via the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association of Australia, Chief Executive Officer Ron Curry of iGEA said the tax reform “Has already attracted the interest of many global game publishers” which can only be good news for our struggling industry. He continued “The games industry is already a major contributor to the GDP’s of a number of international territories and the introduction of the legislation could well put Australia on the same path.”
“Once the legislation is passed through the Senate we should expect to see an increase in investment interest from publishers that have established development studios in Australia and potentially far greater investment in the intellectual properties being developed within local game development studios.”
The global computer and videogame industry is worth an estimated US $50 billion worldwide, expected to rise to $76 billion in 2013 and is the leading entertainment sector, eclipsing DVD or theatrical movie releases. A study released in the USA last week, indicated that the average age of a videogame player is now 37 with 72 per cent of households playing computer or video games.
Antony Reed, Chief Executive of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia, sees the announcement as the Government making a strong commitment to the development of Australia’s knowledge economy. They welcomed the crossbench support for the $1.8 billion R&D Tax Bill.
“Since the first announcement of the R&D Tax reform and in our own discussions with the Department, it became very clear that the government has confidence in the abilities of Australian SMEs to deliver ground-breaking innovations for the global market,” said Reed. “Innovation is at the heart of game development and the introduction of the new legislation not only assists in levelling the global competitive playing field, but also affords the local industry the opportunity to challenge traditional gameplay conventions.”
“Games have both driven advances in technology and brought advanced technologies into millions of homes around the world. The industry is constantly exploring new mechanisms to create engaging and meaningful experiences for players,” said Reed.
The Gillard Labor Government may not be popular right now, but $1.8 billion R&D Tax Credit is expected to provide more funding to innovative Australian companies – including ICT – and begins on July 1 2011.
You can view more information about the R&D Tax bill here