Australian games industry future bright despite government funding cuts
Sydney, 15th May 2014: The Federal Government has announced that as part of its savings measures in the 2014 Budget, it will cease the Australian Interactive Games Fund (AIGF) from 1 July 2014, thereby saving AU$10 million. The AIGF was announced in 2012 and was allocated a total of AU$20 million to be spent over three years.
“It’s unfortunate that this funding has been cut, but it won’t have a significant impact on the future of the Australian Games Industry,” said 30-year game industry veteran John De Margheriti.
“The scope of the AIGF was limited; it didn’t support new developers or larger studios working on big projects. Consider that the $20 million spread over three years falls well short of the average development budget for a current generation game of between US$30-100 million. A larger studio would be better off getting access to the 40 percent Producer Offset, currently only available for film production,” says De Margheriti.
Regarded as the father of the Australian Game Industry, De Margheriti has established several game studios, created the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE), the leading specialist games educator in Australia, and founded the Game Developer’s Association of Australia.
“These cuts won’t impact on the opportunities available for graduates coming out of AIE. The AIGF was not intended to support new developers without published titles. That’s why we created the Incubator Program which makes a range of funding available to these developers, even up to three years after they’ve graduated,” De Margheriti said.
In 2014, over AU$400,000 of grants and project funding will be awarded to teams in the Incubator. Next week, AIE will be announcing the first recipients of the AU$150,000 Post-Incubator Development Grant for teams that have graduated in 2012 and 2013. AIE’s Incubator Program mentors graduates through the process of creating their own studios and supports them to create new companies, innovative digital content and original IP.
“I’m excited about the future of the games industry in Australia. If we want a bigger slice of the US$70 billion global games industry, there needs to be a range of funding and investment options for developers at all levels. There’s a huge amount of talent and great ideas currently in development that I’m committed to supporting,” stated De Margheriti.