Aussie Game Industry Finally Gets Taxpayer Support
The Australian Government has listened to industry pressure and announced a 30 per cent tax offset for local video game development.
Announced as part of the Digital Economy Strategy, the offset will be available from July 2022 to Australian video game companies, or overseas companies permanently established in Australia, which spend at least $500,000 on qualifying Australian games expenditure; the offset does not apply to games which cannot obtain classification and/or contain gambling elements.
“Talent in the gaming sector has transferable digital capabilities that Australia could apply to a range of other sectors. These areas include the defence innovation, medical technology, education technology, emergency planning, construction (digital twins), agtech, and modern manufacturing,” the Government wrote on its DES website.
The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the peak body for video game development in Australia, welcomed the news, with CEO Ron Curry saying the offset was one of the most significant to be announced anywhere in the world.
“It will spur the creation of brand new Australian game development studios, give existing Australian studios the support they need to take on ambitious new projects and accelerate their growth, plus attract further blockbuster AAA studios to Australia, all of which will create game development jobs in every state.
“This new federal investment will underpin a new wave of Australian video game development, leading to even more amazing Australian-made games to take to the almost $250 billion global video games market – which is arguably the largest entertainment market in the world – and bring new Australian voices and stories to a truly global audience,” said Curry.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson has also celebrated the announcement, saying the Australian game industry comprises a large number of small businesses and start-ups with high growth potential.
“My office has been a vocal supporter of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) which estimates Australia could create a $1 billion industry in game development, providing export revenue and employing an additional 10,000 full time workers with the right support.
“This 30% tax offset is an excellent support measure to help Australian video game producers take a greater share of the $250 billion global game development market,” he said.
The offset is the culmination of years of lobbying and representations by the Australian video game industry for more official taxpayer support.
Top: The Riot Games offices in Sydney. (Image: Riot Games via Glassdoor)