Today, the Senate’s Environment and Communications References Committee officially published the Report on the future of Australia’s video game development industry. For your reference, here is a link to the report.
IGEA made a submission to this inquiry last year and appeared in front of the committee hearing in March.
Overall , the recommendations of the report are quite positive for the games development industry in Australia. Below is a summary of the key recommendations that the Committee has made to the Australian Government:
- Introduce a funding scheme based on the former Australian Interactive Games Fund.
- Introduce a refundable tax offset for Australian expenditure in the development of game titles.
- Encourage and contribute financial assistance for the creation of shared working spaces, modelled on the Arcade, in other locations.
- Consider the viability of establishing an innovation hub for game development in a regional centre.
- Facilitate dialogue between game industry associations and groups that use serious games, in order to encourage the further uptake of serious games in healthcare, education and other sectors.
- Consider the tax implication of crowd-sourced funding for startups.
- Develop a discussion paper and consult on the utility of the Export Market Development Grants scheme for businesses that operate in the digital economy.
- Take into account whether the industry is improving the diversity of its workforce and is providing fair employment conditions.
- Commit to rolling out 21st century broadband infrastructure.
The instigator of the inquiry, Senator Scott Ludlum (Greens), has also put out a press release about the report and how it is time for the Australian Government to get in the game.