The Greens Want $100M To Resurrect Australia’s Game Development Industry

There’s so much amazing Australian talent getting around the local game development industry, but sadly, they have very little support from the government. Moving forward, The Greens want to see this changed.

The party want to establish an investment fund of $100 million to support Aussie game development, which will be announced as part of its byelection campaign for the Melbourne seat of Batman, where a huge chunk of the industry resides.

“Video games are culturally, artistically and economically significant,” spokesman Jordon Steele-John said. “Worth more than $3 billion annually in Australia and over $100 billion worldwide, the Australian Greens see video games as a key component in rebooting our digital future.”

Old mate Jordon is right, the industry is massive and shows no signs of slowing down, with the country’s spending on games and hardware rising by 9 per cent in 2017 when compared to the previous year.

Despite our obvious love for gaming, the previous $20 million Australian Interactive Games Fund introduced by the Labor government in 2012 was abolished by the trainwreck Abbott government in 2014.

Many of the big studios who had Australian operations have since abandoned them in favour of countries like Canada, which have generous government subsidies. This, coupled with high labour costs, make it incredibly hard to produce big AAA games here at home.

There’s since been a huge push to bring back the industry fund, but has been ignored by the coalition for nearly two years. When they did finally respond to the report, the advice was simply “noted” and no action was taken, which is a piss-weak response by any measure.

“For a government so concerned with selling the message of innovation, it is deeply hypocritical to continue to ignore the creative, cultural, and economic contributions of the video games industry,” Steele-John said.

A separate report submitted late last year by The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts also called for the fund to be resurrected. Steele-John would also like to see the creative industry tax offsets be extended to game developers and for investment in more “creative co-working spaces” to increase.

Whether these calls will just be ignored again is uncertain, but as Steele-John points out, it seems pretty dang stupid for a government obsessed with innovation to completely neglect an increasingly growing industry.