GDAA bewildered by Government’s decision to axe Game Industry Fund
For Immediate Release
MELBOURNE – 14 May, 2014 – The Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA) is disappointed and mystified by the Federal government’s budget announcement to cut the Australian Interactive Games Fund (AIGF). The decision is completely at odds with the government’s claims of support for Australian culture and innovation.
The AIGF initiative was announced in 2012 and the implementation by Screen Australia only began twelve months ago. Formulated after substantial consultation with industry, the fund was designed to be an accelerator for the Australian game development industry, providing financial support for local business growth and the development of new intellectual property that would not be shipped offshore, but retained in Australia.
Prior to the introduction of the AIGF, the Australian game development industry received almost no support from the Federal government.
“It is concerning that the decision to end the Australian Interactive Games Fund was made with absolutely no consultation with industry,” said Antony Reed, CEO of the GDAA. “We made numerous attempts to contact the Attorney General’s office in the months leading up to last night’s announcement, including providing economic data and highlighting the successes the Australian game development sector has had on the global market. We have yet to receive a single response.”
“There is no question that the games industry is a significant contributor to the economies of every country that has a thriving game development sector; adding billions to the GDP’s of the US and Canada annually. Moreover, games are cultural products, developed by teams of highly skilled people across multiple disciplines; games now inspire other media sectors including film, television, music and literature.”
The Australian game development industry is an export oriented, labour intensive sector driven by innovation and creativity. Skills developed in the creation of games are, arguably, the most transferable of any industrial sector and as such, game developers are constantly sought by non-entertainment sectors including; healthcare, education, training and defence.
“In the development of the AIGF, the Australian game development industry took a responsible and respectful view of the opportunity,” said Mr Reed. “It was the industry that insisted on strong business cases for every application and that the program be an investment which required repayment to become self-sustaining.”
“The Australian game development industry has been producing great games for the global market for over 30 years and in the digital age enjoys a direct relationship with its consumers around the world.”
The GDAA will seek to have the decision to end the Australian Interactive Games Fund reversed.
“If the government is serious about creating a better future for Australians, then supporting innovation, creativity and culture is essential, and the Australian game development industry represents one of the most exciting sectors of the knowledge economy.”
Founded in 1999, the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA) is a not-for-profit organisation that represents the interests of Australia’s development industry. GDAA is tasked with promoting the game development industry (locally and internationally), retaining and attracting development talent, attracting investment and global game publisher interest, engaging with educational institutions, advising government of industry trend and opportunity and fostering the Australian game development community.
For media information or to arrange to speak with a GDAA representative, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Game Developers’ Association of Australia
Ph: + 61 3 9008 5978