MELBOURNE, June 12, 2008 – The Games Development Association of Australia (GDAA) and the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) have today announced an alliance to urge the Australian Government to offer tax incentives for the local interactive entertainment industry. The GDAA and the IEAA have also aligned to support intellectual property protection and the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games.
According to Tom Crago, President of the GDAA, the local games development community produce world-class games and have worked hard to create a community of innovation and excellence and deserved the support of the Australian government.
The Australian games development community employs over 1400 people and in 2007 generated a total income of $136.9 million.
According to Crago, tax incentives have been deployed in Canada, France and elsewhere in the world, and have been shown to assist local industry to develop its potential. “There are over 300 companies in the video game industry in Canada employing over 8000 people. The growth of the Canadian industry has been in no small part thanks to Government support,” he said.
“Australian game developers cannot be expected to be internationally competitive when global market conditions are ‘not level’. We owe it to the companies themselves to offer these incentives and we also need to make an investment into Australia’s ‘smart economy’.”
Ron Curry, CEO of the IEAA says that the popularity of video games rivals, and in many cases surpasses, releases of popular books and film. “Interactive entertainment is a huge, mainstream business and like our home grown film and television industry, it’s vital that our local games developers are given the best chance to be competitive on the world stage.”
GDAA and IEAA will be holding joint discussions and industry round tables to highlight the importance of government support of local innovation for interactive entertainment.
Greg Bondar, CEO of the GDAA said that “the joint GDAA and IEAA campaign will be called “Game-On’ to coincide with the GDAA’s Asia Pacific GCAP conference to be held in November in Brisbane.”
The other industry issues the GDAA and the IEAA will work closely on include the need for an R18+ classification for video games and strategic reforms to address the problem of games piracy.