Update 31 Jan 2023: IGEA have provided comment on the launch of the Revive national cultural policy.
The Australian Government today launched a new national cultural policy, Revive. This five-year $286 million plan aims to renew Australia’s arts, entertainment, and cultural sector. As part of this, the Federal Government has announced the re-establishment of the Australian Interactive Games Fund.
In the launch broadcast through YouTube Live, Arts Minister Tony Burke heralded its return. “All forms of storytellers now, whether it’s narrative, visual art, music, acting are finding themselves jobs in the video game industry,” said Mr Burke. “Screen Australia, when you’ve got an industry expanding like this around the world, shouldn’t be left trying to check if there’s some spare change in the back of the lounge to fund this rapidly growing $4 billion sector. So we’ll restore the games fund for Screen Australia that was abolished nearly 10 years ago.”
Australian Interactive Games Fund
Not much is known about how Revive will impact the renewal of the Australian Interactive Games Fund. The original $20 million fund was launched in 2013 with the aim to help local game developers grow. The following year it was abandoned with only half of its funding spent. Reports from that time indicate that Screen Australia was able to support 10 companies and 29 projects in the short time the fund was active.
Research cited in the Revive policy states that two thirds of Australians play video games (not a surprise to us at GOA). It also states that in 2021-22, Australian game developers generated $284.4 million in revenue and employed 2,104 full time workers.
IGEA is understandably excited by the Revive policy. With the Digital Tax Offset being focused on larger scale projects, the return of the Australian Interactive Games Fund will lay a solid foundation for a thriving game development ecosystem in Australia.
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA commented, “Not only is IGEA and the games industry celebrating the funding and further commitment from the Albanese government for the development sector, but we are also delighted to see games positioned within the broader national cultural, screen and creative industries. This commitment recognises that Australian game developers have an essential role to play in the digital delivery of stories to local and international audiences.
“We look forward to reading more details on the fund and will work with the great team at Screen Australia to educate the industry on accessing the support.”
More From Revive
The bulk of the $286 million Revive policy will go to the creation of Creative Australia. It will house new bodies Music Australia, Writers Australia, Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces and a body help protect First Nations artists. The Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces will focus on workplace safety in the arts, as well as combating bullying and harassment.