With the Australian federal election looming on the horizon, the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) has released a report outlining key policies it would like to see backed by the leading parties. Backing The Game: IGEA’S 2022 Federal Election Policy Platform is the association’s attempt to best convey to Australia’s Coalition, ALP, Greens and independent parties that the support and growth of the game’s industry should be a priority moving forward.
By highlighting three major commitments, the IGEA hopes to convince the federal government of the untapped potential of Australia’s game development scene, bolstering the economy with new jobs and enriching the country’s cultural profile.
IGEA Outlines Australian Game Development Policies
The report focuses on three core tenants from which meaningful policy and change could be enacted for the industry at large. These are:
- Prioritising the legislating of the Digital Games Tax Offset to enable local studios to increase game production while giving the green light to the many international ‘AAA’ studios waiting on this reform to enable them to establish a base in Australia.
- Launching a long-term Game Development Fund to provide vital support to early-stage Australian game developers and emerging local studios in the same way that local TV and film production is nurtured and incentivised.
- Reviewing Australia’s skilled migration system so that it remains fit-for-purpose and agile. Our sector relies on and creates high tech digital jobs, and there is a skills shortage in our industry. Allowing studios to efficiently attract global talent will enable them to keep growing and to train up the next generation of local talent.
“Our whole industry has been eagerly awaiting the implementation of the Digital Games Tax Offset since its announcement in last year’s Budget, from highly talented local studios pulling together budgets for their ambitious next project, to global video game companies finalising their proposed investment plans for Australia,” says Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, via press release.
“To complement the tax offset, we also need a long-term commitment to direct funding to support the more early-stage games studios looking to scale their businesses and deliver creative projects. Finally, the huge economic potential presented by a thriving Australian game development sector requires access to skilled employees. Our migration settings should be updated, flexible and welcoming for the specialised employees that are needed.”
The IGEA report lands just a week after Screen Australia’s massive commitment to funding local independent game developers. The Screen Australia Games: Expansion Pack will allow up to $6 million in funding toward smaller developers over the course of the next two years and will work in conjunction with the Digital Games Tax Offset.