IGEA welcomes the incoming Albanese Labor Government
23 May 2022 – IGEA congratulates and welcomes the incoming Albanese Labor Government and looks forward to continuing the dialogue around supporting the Australian video games industry.
The Australian Labor Party has a proud history of supporting Australian game developers. We have not forgotten that the previous Labor Government in 2013 established Australia’s first major federal game development fund, the Australian Interactive Games Fund.
IGEA and our members look forward to our engagement with the new Government on several priorities for our sector:
- Adjustments and agility in our migration schemes. Video game development relies on talent that is highly skilled and digitally literate. Local studios are telling us that the talent market is extremely tight, but our migration system and settings are no longer fit for purpose for our industry or other creative tech sectors. There is a high demand for these employees globally and Australia is competing with other countries such as New Zealand and Canada with aggressive immigration policies to attract such workers. It is vital that our migration system remains agile so that we can admit mid-to-senior practitioners immediately and meet the talent needs that local studios require to expand their operations and develop junior staff.
- Reviewing and adopting the recent recommendations from industry consultations on the Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO). We call on the new Government to support and prioritise the legislating of the DGTO to enable local studios to increase game production while giving the green light to the many international ‘AAA’ studios waiting on this reform to enable them to establish a base in Australia. IGEA and many game companies have already submitted extensive recommendations and have held constructive conversations with Treasury and the Office for the Arts on how the DGTO Exposure Draft Legislation can be optimised and strengthened.
- Committing to a long-term Game Development Fund to provide vital support to early-stage Australian game developers and emerging local studios in the same way local TV and film production is nurtured and incentivised. Screen Australia’s new Games: Expansion Pack fund has closed its first round, receiving over 100 applications in a short time frame. This has proven that demand from industry is there and these funds are vital to creating a complete game development ecosystem in Australia. We strongly recommend that Screen Australia’s funding for our sector, which is currently limited to $3 million in 2021-22 and $3 million in 2022-23, be significantly expanded and extended beyond next year.
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, said, “We have worked incredibly closely across all sides of Parliament to educate policy makers about video games and the opportunities that the game development industry can provide economically to Australia. As the competition for talent and the establishment of studios based in the global industry continues to increase, we can’t afford to lose any momentum with the excellent groundwork that has been established in Australia already and ask the incoming Albanese Labor Government to help us cement Australia as a global hub for this highly creative and technical industry.”
In March, IGEA released Backing the Game: 2022 Federal Election Policy Platform
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IGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Association) is the peak industry association representing the voice of Australian and New Zealand companies in the computer and video games industry. IGEA supports the games industry’s business and public policy interests through advocacy, research, and education programs.
For more information, please visit www.igea.net.