According to new survey data released by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), Australia’s game development industry has doubled its revenue since 2016. The data, which the IGEA has released as part of the latest Australian Game Development Survey, shows a whopping $226 million in revenue for the industry over the past five years with even bigger expansions predicted moving into the future.
The AGDS is conducted annually and is used as a yardstick for the growth and size of Australia’s blossoming game development industry. Over the past three years alone we have seen over 20% year-on-year growth as well as a 50% jump in employment since 2016. The survey also found that the industry is getting more diverse, showing improvements to gender diversity across these workplaces. This includes 10% of full-time Australian games workers identifying as trans, non-binary or gender-diverse.
IGEA CEO Ron Curry said in a press release that “The figures prove the potential and adaptability of the globally reputable Australian video games industry, and we need to capitalise on this experience while we can.” While this boom is bloody brilliant, growth of such a rapid rate has produced its own host of issues for the industry to overcome in 2021 and beyond. Most significantly the survey found that access to early funding, both from within the industry and from governmental bodies, still presented a struggle for studios.
Meanwhile, finding the right person for the job is also proving to be a challenge as specialised workers are kept at bay by unprecedented global circumstances. Difficult migration programs, along with continued border closures due to COVID-19 and generalised demand for highly skilled workers have all factored into the industry’s struggles.
Still, positive changes are on the horizon as today the Australian Federal Government announced new support for the development industry. As part of its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) the government is dedicating a further $19.6 million to expand the Digital Games Tax Offset. In response to the announcement, Curry stated that “We are delighted to see the Federal Government double down on its commitment to the video games sector and expand its offering to game developers as part of its Digital Economy Strategy…” He goes on to reaffirm what a commitment of this scale means for the future. “This announcement highlights that the Government is not only listening to industry, but it is prepared to make adjustments to ensure that the incentive is fit-for-purpose and globally competitive. We look forward to consultation on exposure draft legislation in the new year.”
Hopefully, we will see more support from a federal level for the industry as the IGEA predicts further local development growth well into the future. The global games development industry was worth approximately $AU240 billion in 2020 and given that we have seen a huge uptake in gaming during the pandemic that number isn’t likely to go anywhere but up.
For a full breakdown of the survey results head over to the IGEA’s official website.