IGEA submission to the Australian Treasury’s consultation on the Employment White Paper

01
Dec

IGEA has made a submission to the Australian Treasury in relation to its consultation on the development of the Employment White Paper.

More information on the consultation can be found here.

Australian game developers celebrate introduction of DGTO bill into Parliament

23
Nov

23 November, 2022 –  Alongside the Australian video games industry, IGEA is celebrating today’s introduction of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2022 Measures No. 4) Bill 2022 into Parliament, which when passed will implement the Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO).

The sector has been eagerly awaiting the details of the DGTO, which have been released today following the introduction of this bill by the Albanese Government in the House of Representatives.  Pending the bill’s passage through both Houses of Parliament, local video game businesses and creators can now confidently scale up their studios and projects to deliver more quality Australian content to a global audience. At the same time, Australia will shine brightly in the global video games industry as the next big destination for business and investment.

The DGTO is the first federal policy of its kind and one of the best game development incentives anywhere in the world. It will deliver a 30% tax incentive to Australian video game developers with projects above $500,000, with eligible expenditure incurred from 1 July 2022 able to be claimed. It signals a commitment to the local games development industry and recognises game creation as an important part of our screen and cultural sector. Australian studios have already witnessed an impact on their businesses since Screen Australia launched its first funding program for video games in eight years earlier this year through the Games: Expansion Pack program. The DGTO will complement this fund and help to make Australia among the best places in the world to make video games.

Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, commented, “We sincerely thank the Treasurer, the Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP and the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Stephen Jones MP for introducing the legislation as well as the Arts Minister, the Hon Tony Burke MP, for advocating for support for Australian game developers in both of his innings as Arts Minister and the time in between as the Shadow Arts Minister. We would also like to thank the Minister for Trade, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, for his recognition of our sector’s enormous trade and investment potential and finally the Communications Minister, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, for being our industry’s champion over many years.

“By backing and introducing the legislation into Parliament, the Albanese Government has provided certainty and growth opportunities for our highly creative and technically skilled industry. The Australian game development sector has embraced this opportunity. The job creation, revenue growth and international investment in game development will further cement and enhance Australia’s reputation for delivering quality content internationally. In particular, it will create a new generation of creative 21st century Aussie tech workers.

“Noting that the DGTO represents bipartisan policy, we look forward to a swift passage of the bill through Parliament. In addition to our gratitude to the Albanese Government, we also thank the Opposition, and particularly the current shadow and former Arts Minister Paul Fletcher MP, for proposing the DGTO last year and continuing to support it.

“The Office for the Arts and the Treasury have run a very effective consultation with industry and we expect the dialogue and education to continue as the DGTO rolls out. The DGTO, coupled with the many state government digital games funds and rebates, means that Australia has some of the most aggressive video game industry incentives available globally. We expect to see many multinational companies expand their operations to Australia and contribute to a thriving and sustainable game development ecosystem.”

The reactions from the Australian games sector have been as follows:

Benjamin Lee, Founder and Managing Director, Blowfish Studios

“The DGTO is a huge milestone for the Australian game development industry and if utilised to its fullest will enable Blowfish to create more jobs around the country as we continue to build the world’s best blockchain games. Phantom Galaxies continues to attract overseas investment as it paves the way for the genre, plus we have multiple home-grown IPs in development now which will all benefit from the DGTO.”

 Casey Thomas, Founder | Managing Director, Dark Shadow Studio

“Since the announcement of the DGTO, my studio and I are in high spirits and are able to plan and budget for not only the exponential growth of new staff members within our studio but look at projecting into international exportations – since my recent trip to India to speak at IGDC, it has opened so many new opportunities that until experienced, we would never really have considered. 

With these new announcements, it means we can also continue to build stronger relationships internationally, showcase the amazing talent here in Australia, and share resources around the world. We are very excited by this announcement and the next 1-2 years on how this will shape and change the games industry here in Australia; it’s looking brighter than ever!”

 

 Electronic Arts

“Electronic Arts applauds this important development by the Australian Parliament to pass the Digital Games Tax Offset, which will be a vital step in helping the Government stimulate video game development in Australia.”

 

 Dylan Miklashek, Studio Manager, Gameloft Brisbane

“Gameloft Brisbane is incredibly excited with the announcement of the Digital Games Tax Offset OFFICIAL legislation. With the Federal Government’s DGTO now officially and fully in place, Gameloft and all other game development in Australia can now confidently and rapidly move forward with their future growth plans and opportunities. It’s Game On in Australia people!!!”

 

 Tom Crago, CEO, Tantalus

“For Tantalus and for Keywords Australia, the DGTO with turbocharge our growth and expansion. That means more jobs and more videogames developed in Australia, for the global market. Australia has an opportunity to be one of the world’s great hubs for game development. We’re ready to play.”

Blake Mizzi, Director and Co-Founder, League of Geeks

“Games studios are remarkable places where creativity, imagination and cutting-edge technology swirl together into complex experiences every day. These hot houses for talent are also perfect places to breed skills for jobs we don’t even know about today. The DGTO will help us expand Australian studios, hire more staff and cultivate more digital brain power for years to come with flow on effects beyond the sector.”

 

TJ Munusamy, Executive Vice President Business Development, PlaySide Studios

“PlaySide Studios welcomes the DGTO with open arms. This is a much needed Government initiative that the Australian industry has been yearning for in some capacity, for more than a decade. As the barrier to entry into video game development increases and the cutting-edge technologies required to remain competitive become more expensive to adopt; the grant will help ease pressures faced by many of our local game development studios.

For PlaySide in particular, the initiative will allow our company to remain competitive on a global scale and help the business attract much needed talent for our next wave of flagship projects. The grant will also lower the barrier to entry on any new studio locations as well as assist us in preparing strategies for future technologies by virtue of ensuring we have the right talent.  PlaySide has gone through mass transformation in recent years and the federal DGTO initiative will further bolster the company’s upward trajectory as it reaches new heights.

PlaySide Studios is excited to see the DGTO in full effect and its benefits realised to the Australian video game industry!”

 

Naresh Hirani, Head of Studio, Riot Sydney

In our 25+ years as a game development studio, Australia has continued to grow its recognition globally as a hotbed for talent in the gaming industry. During that time, the Australian Government’s support has been instrumental in navigating the challenges our industry has faced, and now this tax offset scheme is a clear signal that Australia’s importance to game dev is here to stay. As one of the largest AAA studios in Australia, we’ve seen first hand the challenges in retaining world class development talent and we’re thrilled for what the Digital Games Tax Offset will mean for growing, attracting, and retaining that talent here in Australia.

Matt Schenkel, Co-Founder, Sub-Zero Sound

“Despite a $500k barrier to entry, I think independent developers and development-adjacent creative businesses that don’t reach that number will still benefit. 

With my game audio studio, Sub-Zero Sound, I’m always looking for promising studios and developers to work with. I anticipate that our network of clients will get larger and more diverse thanks to this tax offset. I believe that with this new incentive, game creators will be able to more easily justify working with third-party companies such as mine and invest in what have traditionally been “luxury” features such as custom sound design and music. 

I think that this will also result in more pathways for game graduates out of university. Currently, there are few options for early-career games practitioners to jump into entry-level roles or paid internships in Australia. I only see these sorts of roles (as well as mid-senior roles), becoming more common over the next few years as the scale of our industry increases.”

 

Joey Egger, Managing Director, Two Moos/DEPT®

“The Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) will significantly impact our ability to bring new work streams and grow Two Moos/DEPT®’s specialist family-focused games team. We’re beyond thrilled about the opportunity that the DGTO brings us and the Australian Games industry as a whole. Please expect an outpouring of creativity, excellence, innovation and delightful surprises in years to come – it’s all there, it just needs to surface and the DGTO will help in doing exactly that.”

Evan Davey, Founding Partner, Two Bulls/DEPT®

The DGTO has already proven its intention to promote the growth of Australia’s digital games development industry. As a game industry business, Two Bulls/DEPT® has been able to utilise the possibility of a substantial tax offset as an incentive to attract big-scale, overseas clients into Australia. One example is an international 8-figure contract for our family division Two Moos.”

ENDS

For interviews please contact igea@doublejump.com.au

 

About IGEA

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

IGEA submission to House of Representative Committee inquiry into online gambling

16
Nov

IGEA has made a submission to the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs in relation to its inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm.

More information on the inquiry can be found here.

IGEA welcomes confirmation that the Albanese Labor Government is backing the digital games sector

28
Oct

Friday 28 October, 2022 –  IGEA is thrilled by the confirmation that the Albanese Government is backing the digital games sector by introducing legislation to establish a Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) in the coming months, as confirmed by The Hon Tony Burke MP in a media release this afternoon.

Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA says, “This incentive will bring international investment to Australia and create certainty for Australian game developers.  Local studios can now confidently scale up and expand employment in their businesses to deliver new and exciting Australian created games projects and technologies to the world, contributing further to export revenue.

“We thank the Federal Labor Government, in particular Arts Minister The Hon Tony Burke MP and Treasurer The Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP for their long-held recognition and support for the establishment of a games industry in Australia and appreciate their commitment to the imminent introduction of legislation.”

ENDS

About IGEA

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 business and public policy interests of the games industry, through advocacy, research and education programs. For more information, please visit www.igea.net

IGEA Statement on Federal Budget, October 2022

26
Oct

Wednesday 26 October, 2022 –  Following last night’s federal budget announcement, the Australian video games industry is still eagerly awaiting the legislation for the Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO), which was announced by the previous Australian Government in May 2021 especially as we know it is policy that the current Government supports.

Originally scheduled for introduction by July 2022, the implementation of the DGTO in a timely manner will create confidence in investment and employment growth for the local video games industry and will finally place Australia at a competitive advantage in this high growth global entertainment medium.  Yesterday’s budget announcement unfortunately did not mention games, which is a missed opportunity for Australia and our digital economy.

While we are grateful for the continued support that the Australian Labor Party has shown to the Australian game development community, both now in Government and previously in opposition, the absence of an update about the details and timing of the DGTO has created an environment of uncertainty for the industry. Global video game companies are being forced to scope alternate locations around the world for future studios, while local development studios are being forced to curtail their production and expansion plans.

Industry and government have been running effective and productive discussions and consultations on this incentive for some time, whilst actively promoting Australia and our reputation for creating excellent products, as the place to make games.

Encouragingly, there are so many signs that the Australian Government is taking our industry as seriously, as it deserves to be. We thank Screen Australia for its return to game development funding, the Office for the Arts for investing in building its first ever digital games team, and Austrade for recently partnering with us to deliver Australia’s biggest ever presence at the Gamescom video games expo in Germany.

Building on this, we ask the Albanese Government and the Treasurer the Hon Jim Chalmers MP to prioritise the introduction of the DGTO legislation to ensure our highly creative and digitally literate industry can thrive and prosper.

 

ENDS

IGEA is hiring a Policy and Communications Officer

09
Sep

POSITION DESCRIPTION – POLICY AND COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

About IGEA

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) is the non-profit industry association representing and advocating for the video games industry in Australia and New Zealand, including the developers (in Australia only), publishers and distributors of video games, as well as the makers of gaming platforms, consoles and devices. IGEA has over a hundred members, from emerging independent studios to some of the world’s largest technology companies.

IGEA’s responsibilities include advocacy, media and government relations, as well as industry research and data collection. IGEA also provides a range of services for its members and the broader industry, including organising the annual Games Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) conference for Australian game developers and the Australian Game Developer Awards (AGDAs).

More information on IGEA and our work can be found on our website at igea.net.

About the role

We are seeking a Policy and Communications Officer to join and support the IGEA team.  Under the direction and guidance of senior staff, the Officer will:

  • Undertake a range of policy, advocacy, communications, media, research and other tasks.
  • Monitor the media and the political, policy, legal and regulatory landscape, keeping the team updated and suggesting courses of action.
  • Develop policy positions and advocacy strategies by researching issues and liaising with members and stakeholders.
  • Research and write submissions, policy statements and letters to government.
  • Organise meetings, roundtables, briefings and events, including with members or government.
  • Manage and draft communications to members and stakeholders, including policy briefings, organisational updates and member newsletters.
  • Draft public communications including media releases, blog posts and social media posts.
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with members, stakeholders (including government and other industry groups), the media and organisational partners (eg. PR and GR firms).
  • Other activities to support the team as expected of all the staff of our small organisation.

Depending on the specific responsibilities and tasks, the Officer will report to two managers:

  • For policy and government-related work, to the Director of Policy & Government Affairs.
  • For media and communications work, to the Chief Operating Officer.

About the preferred candidate

The successful Policy and Communications Officer will be a dynamic and versatile team player with strong analytical and communications skills.

The Officer will possess all or most of the following attributes:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent practical experience.
  • Relevant policy or communications experience, such as:
    • Government or political experience, or experience in a policy, legal or government-facing role in a company, industry body, NGO or in civil society.
    • Professional media, social media or corporate communications experience.
  • A demonstrated interest in video games and in technology or arts policy.
  • The ability to write persuasively, succinctly and for different audiences.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and respectfully in a team.
  • Project management experience, the ability to manage multiple tasks and strong attention to detail.

The Officer’s role is full-time, although we are open to flexible and part-time arrangements if preferred by the successful applicant.

The Officer will need to be based in Sydney and while we have a flexible work-from-home policy, the successful candidate should expect to spend at least a portion of their work-week in our physical office located in the South Eveleigh technology precinct.

The successful applicant will need to be vaccinated against COVID in line with the Australian Government’s guidance.

IMPORTANT

IGEA is an equal opportunity employer and we prioritise diversity, equality and inclusion.

We welcome and encourage applicants from all backgrounds, and we particularly welcome applications from groups who are currently underrepresented in the games industry, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, skin colour, sex, gender, sexual orientation, parental status, age, physical or mental disability, neurodivergence, pronouns, national origin or any other basis.

How to apply

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to privacy@igea.net. Please also contact the same mailbox if you have any questions about the role and someone from the team will respond.

Applications are encouraged before COB 23 September.

Have your say on draft industry codes to protect Australians from harmful content

01
Sep

1 September, 2022  – Six associations representing the online industry in Australia have today released for public consultation the draft Consolidated Industry Codes of Practice for the Online Industry, Phase 1 (class 1A and class 1B material) (the Draft Codes) to help protect Australians from harmful content on the internet.

The Online Safety Act 2021 (Act), which came into effect in January 2022, requires the development of codes by industry associations to regulate certain types of harmful online material, known as Class 1A and 1B material with reference to Australia’s classification scheme. This includes material promoting child sexual abuse, terrorism, extreme crime and violence, crime and violence, and drug-related content.

Once finalised, the Draft Codes will be submitted for registration to the eSafety Commissioner. Registered codes are enforceable by the Commissioner. The Draft Codes released today have been informed by input from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner reflected in their September 2021 Position Paper.

The associations represent different parts of the online industry and, together in consultation with their members and other companies, have developed the Draft Codes. These organisations are: the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA), Communications Alliance, the Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (CESA), the Digital Industry Group Inc (DIGI), and the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA).

A public consultation process has been launched today inviting feedback on the Draft Codes from the general public through the launch of a new consultation website www.onlinesafety.org.au. Feedback is  being sought from key stakeholders including consumer organisations, a diverse range of civil society groups, academics and industry.

The Draft Codes cover participants across eight key sections of the online industry specified in the Act, including providers of social media, messaging, search engine and app distribution services, as well as internet and hosting service providers, and manufacturers and suppliers of any equipment that connects to the internet, including smart devices and computers. Importantly, the codes are required to cover operators of all websites that can be accessed by Australian users.

DIGI Managing Director, Sunita Bose, said: “The draft codes strengthen the safeguards across the online industry to help protect Australians from certain harmful content, and also make existing protections more consistent and transparent.”

Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said: “The new codes are there to protect all Australians. It is important that we hear from many different stakeholders and users of the internet whether the Draft Codes work for them.”

The Draft Codes and an accompanying explanatory memorandum can be downloaded at www.onlinesafety.org.au. Submissions on the Draft Codes can be lodged via the website and will be accepted until 2 October.

Under a two-phased approach agreed with the eSafety Commissioner, the Draft Codes arethe first of two set of codes that will be developed, covering higher risk ‘class 1’ material such as child sexual exploitation and pro-terror material.

Media enquiries should be directed to Doublejump Communications at igea@doublejump.com.au. More information about the industry associations is overleaf.

 

About the Industry Associations 

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) (amta.org.au) is the peak body and trusted voice of the mobile telecommunications industry in Australia. Its members span telecommunications carriers, network vendors, infrastructure providers, handset manufacturers and various other smaller providers. Its mission is to promote an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable mobile telecommunications industry in Australia.

BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernise and grow. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.

Communications Alliance (commsalliance.com.au) is the primary communications industry body in Australia, representing carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, platform providers, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour.

The Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (CESA) (cesa.asn.au) provides a united forum and voice for suppliers of consumer appliances to focus on regulatory, technical and commercial issues that affect the capacity of member companies to supply products in the Australian market.

The Digital Industry Group Inc. (DIGI) (digi.org.au) is a non-profit industry association that advocates for the interests of the digital industry in Australia. DIGI’s vision is a thriving Australian digitally-enabled economy that fosters innovation, a growing selection of digital products and services, and where online safety and privacy are protected.

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) (igea.net) is the industry association representing and advocating for the video games industry in Australia, including the developers, publishers and distributors of video games, as well as the makers of the most popular gaming platforms, consoles and devices. IGEA has over a hundred members, from emerging local game development studios to some of the largest technology companies in the world.

IGEA JOINS 36 AUSTRALIAN DEVELOPERS AT GAMESCOM 2022

17
Aug

Wednesday, 17 August, 2022 – The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) celebrates the local games businesses representing Australia at Gamescom, Cologne, later this month. 36 developers form the largest Australian contingent of developers ever headed to the biggest and most important business show for video games globally. The attending studios will join IGEA in showcasing Australian video games on the international stage. Australia is the official Partner Country at Gamescom 2022 which runs from August 24 – 28.

The Australian Pavilion was designed and built by IGEA with the support of Austrade and will be in the business area of Gamescom 2022. IGEA will highlight the diverse products, talent and creativity Australia has to offer, with support provided by State and Commonwealth agencies committed to elevating and promoting the Australian games sector.

CEO of IGEA, Ron Curry, says, “The Australian Pavilion at Gamescom 2022 is a significant milestone for the Australian games industry. It’s an opportunity to capitalise on our outstanding reputation and cement Australia as a heavy hitter within the $250 billion global industry and highlight the quality and prestige of Australian created video games and the people behind them.

“Australia has recently seen critical acclaim, with titles like Unpacking, The Oregon Trail, Wylde Flowers and Cult of the Lamb, providing evidence of the burgeoning Australian game development sector. The talent we see across the country isn’t limited just by studio scale, so we’re excited for the rest of the global industry to see and meet with these creators at Gamescom 2022 and understand what Australia has to offer in the way of games and associated technologies.”

The 36 companies attending come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, showcasing products that highlight the breadth of talent within the Australian games industry. Among the contingent are studios with extensive experience, such as PlaySide Studios, Black Lab Games (last year’s AGDAs Studio of the Year Winner), platform developers like Mod.io, and indie developers like ArkimA and Catchweight Studio. The studios range from one to 200+ staff, hailing from across the country, including Tasmania, Torquay, Western Australia and Far North Queensland.

“The individuals and studios in Australia are highly regarded on the global stage. Gamescom provides developers and publishers with an opportunity to demonstrate our abilities and expertise to a broad audience and expand our global networks. We want people to see why they should bring their operations to Australia, invest in our local talent or have their next major project developed locally. The Australian games industry is accelerating and those joining us are going to reap the benefits of being part of this next stage. There are even a growing number of opportunities for developers abroad, to work for local Australian studios.” says TJ Munusamy, Executive Vice President of Australian developer/publisher PlaySide Studios.

 

Australian industry partners have supported the opportunity for many developers to join the Australian Pavilion; Austrade, Screen Queensland, Trade and Investment Queensland, Investment New South Wales, Creative Victoria, The South Australian Department of Trade and Investment, the Adelaide Economic Development Agency, Screen Tasmania, Tasmanian Department of State Growth and Screenwest.

 

END –

 

Australian studios attending Gamescom as part of the Australian contingent include:

  • 2Bit Studios
  • ArkimA
  • Big Bench Games
  • Binary Weavers
  • Black Lab Games
  • Blowfish Studios
  • Capes Inc.
  • Catchweight Studio
  • Drop Bear Bytes
  • Earthlingo
  • Epiphany Games P/L
  • Golden Age Studios
  • GYLD
  • Half Giant
  • Hungry Sky
  • Layer
  • League of Geeks
  • Let Eyes Equals Two
  • Massive Monster
  • Mighty Kingdom
  • mod.io
  • Next-Gen Dreams 3D
  • PlaySide Studios
  • Public Void
  • Road Burn Games
  • Savy Soda Pty Ltd
  • Secret Lab/Yarn Spinner
  • Smash Attack Aus
  • SpaceDraft
  • TensorWorks Pty Ltd
  • Things for Humans
  • Tin Man Games
  • Toast VR
  • Ultimate Studios
  • We Have Always Lived in the Forest
  • We Made a Thing Studios

 

About IGEA

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       

Media spokespeople available

Ron Curry, CEO, IGEA

Please contact igea@doublejump.com.au to arrange an interview.

IGEA Update About The Arcade

11
Aug

The Arcade was established in 2013 to form a collaborative workspace for Melbourne game developers and creative companies.  The goals of The Arcade were to foster an environment that allowed people to create, collaborate and co-operate while nurturing a diverse and inclusive community.

The Arcade has a very proud history.  Many great games were made at The Arcade, many communities were formed, many skills were learned, many networks were established, and many studios that resided at The Arcade have expanded and are still creating amazing products.  None of this could have been achieved without the generous support and assistance from Ross Symons of Big Ant and Creative Victoria, The Arcade staff and, of course, the residents of The Arcade.

Following a merger with the GDAA in early 2020, IGEA became responsible for managing The Arcade.  Immediately after the merger Covid hit, lockdowns happened, work from home was mandated, and eventually, hybrid work became the order of the day. As this upheaval was happening, the landlord of the premises set about re-purposing the building.

On the back of these challenging circumstances, the lease expiration of the building and the uncertainty that the ongoing covid situation had created around work-spaces, The Arcade in Melbourne was forced to close its physical doors in 2022.

This provided an opportunity for the IGEA team to pause, regroup and examine how we can best meet the current needs and requirements of the local development sector.

IGEA has been working with members and Board to evolve the business model of The Arcade. Adhering to the IGEA pillars of Create, Educate, Advocate and Celebrate, the decision was taken to not immediately re-open a physical space but to direct our resources towards delivering programs and tools that meet the needs of the Australian video games sector, now and into the foreseeable future. For example, one of the biggest challenges currently faced by our members in accessing talent is the need for diverse people to enter and remain in our industry.

The Australian games industry has been on a significant growth trajectory, with even greater growth expected from numerous incentives being introduced.

Recently, some of the work coming out of the virtual Arcade has been directed toward industry development programs, addressing some of the talent issues.  Not only do we have our signature events like GCAP and the IGEA Educates Summit, but we have also offered programs such as the S.M.A.R.T program and the SAE student program.

The S.M.A.R.T program was a collaboration with The Arcade and the City of Port Phillip which offered support and mentoring to early-career developer, creating an accessible entry point to our diverse game development community as well as financial assistance for marginalised or low-income game developers.

The SAE Student Program facilitated by The Arcade has connected students to the Victorian game development sector via specialised educational events, networking opportunities and bespoke feedback sessions in order to help them prepare for a successful career in game development.

IGEA is committed to delivering value for our members and abides by our mission statement to be the backbone of an evolving, thriving, video games industry; one that inspires, captivates and allows for positive connections and exciting opportunities for all.”

 Based on the successes of these targeted programs and a renewed focus on industry development, IGEA will develop similar and scalable projects to meet industry needs.  This does not mean closing the door on The Arcade permanently, but taking the learnings and programs developed at The Arcade and applying them wherever they are needed most.

IGEA submission to the Australian Office for the Arts consultation on a renewed National Cultural Policy

11
Aug

IGEA has made a submission to the Australian Office for the Arts, within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, in response to the Australian Government’s consultation on a renewed National Cultural Policy.

More information on the consultation can be found here.

IGEA Educates Summit Recap

26
Jul

Last week, we held the third iteration of our IGEA Educates Summit. With over 170 attendees attending multiple presentations from 41 speakers over 2 full days, it was a great opportunity for stakeholders from the education sector and the games industry to connect and focus on developing talent for our growing Australian industry.

Thanks to our sponsor Two Moos, students attended the Summit (for free) on day 2.  The content programme was focused on helping students prepare to enter the industry and connect with industry stakeholders.  Students were given the opportunity to participate in workshops to meet local studio teams and also participate in portfolio reviews.

The IGEA Educates Summit 2022 created many connections across industry, offered advice to students prepare as they prepare to commence their careers and provided strategic direction for IGEA’s engagement and participation in the sector.  You can access the 2022 presentations and discussions from the Summit Playlist.

If you have any questions please reach out to Jens at IGEA.

IGEA welcomes the boost in funding from Screen Australia’s Games: Expansion Pack

19
Jul

Tuesday 19 July 2022:     IGEA is thrilled to see the announcement from Screen Australia today that 31 Australian games are to be supported by the first round of their recently announced Games: Expansion Pack fund.  $4 million has been committed to these projects, which is $1 million higher than originally planned due to the high quality of applicants and diverse projects being developed.

IGEA is delighted to see the breadth and quality of games that are being supported by Screen Australia and the talent and creativity of our sector. As Games: Expansion Pack is the first federal game development fund in eight years, it is no surprise that Screen Australia received over 100 applications. The list of successful recipients can be found here.

Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA commented, “After strongly advocating for the reinstatement of the Australian Interactive Games Fund for many years, we thank The Minister for the Arts, the Hon Tony Burke MP and the Australian Government for their support of the highly creative and technically skilled video game industry.  Games: Expansion Pack is directed toward emerging, or small to medium independent games studios. It was fantastic to see Screen Australia bolstering support to cater to the high demand and quality of applications for the initial round of funding.

“The Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) is also due to be introduced and legislated this financial year and is aimed at larger projects and studios.  By assisting early career developers, products and studios through Games: Expansion Pack, the Albanese Government is set to facilitate support across the entire game development ecosystem. This will result in growth in employment, promotion of digital and screen skills development, plus increased revenue for the highly talented and reputable Australian game development industry.”

About IGEA

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 business and public policy interests of the games industry, through advocacy, research and education programs. For more information, please visit www.igea.net

Media spokespeople available

  • Ron Curry, CEO, IGEA

 

 

Please contact igea@doublejump.com.au to arrange an interview.

IGEA Educates with Microsoft – Welcome and Introduction to ID@Azure

12
Jul

ID@Azure is a new program Microsoft has launched to help independent game developers and creators use the cloud, regardless of the end platform they are developing for.

Built using the same philosophy as ID@Xbox it offers free tools, resources, and support to help developers quickly get started using gaming cloud services.

Hear from ID@Azure program director Nick Ferguson about why independent developers should care about cloud (even when not building a multiplayer game) and how ID@Azure helps teams develop faster, work smarter and provides support on their cloud journey. This will be an interactive session with lots of opportunity for Q and A.

Please join us for an online webinar on  Tuesday 26 July 2022 | 5pm– 6pm (AEST)

Register Here

New Zealand Video Game Sales Continue Upward Trajectory

14
Jun

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND – 14 June 2022 – The demand for video games in New Zealand continues to explode according to consumer sales data released today by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA).  In 2021, Kiwis spent over $540 milion on video games and consoles.

Video game hardware sales were almost $71 million dollars, leading to strong software sales in both digital and physical formats.  New Zealand gamers are mostly purchasing products in a digital format and also love mobile games with sales exceeding $197 million in 2021.

IGEA has recently updated agreements with data suppliers sourcing consumer sales from GSD and Newzoo++.  GSD reports on major publisher and hardware sales in both physical and digital format across numerous international markets, while Newzoo reports on game sales data globally. Working with IGEA members, we ensured both sources offer reliable and consistent consumer sales data from around the world that identifies global trends.   Newzoo also provides subscription data which is essential when looking at how subscription services impact the way Australians are now playing games.

Tom Wijman, Head of Market Analysis & Forecasting at Newzoo said, “New Zealand’s market for digital PC and console games grew again year on year to $225 million. The growing install base for game consoles as well as further lockdown measures lead too oan overagll growthi in sales for 2021.  The market for mobile games grew faster than any other segment, but unlike the global average, New Zealand’s PC and console markets are still larger than its mobile market.”

Aidan Sakiris, ANZ Territory Manager and Senior Analyst at GSD contributes, “Total New Zealand video game spending was in growth for 2021 driven by a sizeable increase in Hardware sales year-on-year. This was largely due to the heightened availability of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S throughout the year, but also the increasing relevance of Nintendo Switch in the New Zealand market. Software charts comprised of new releases including FIFA 22 and Far Cry 6 as the top performers, but also select titles generally being sold alongside new hardware purchases such as Spiderman: Miles Morales on PS5 as well as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.”

Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA says “New Zealanders have long had a love for playing video games and continue to embrace playing games in all formats.  According to our Digital New Zealand 2022 (DNZ22) report, over 3.7 million New Zealanders play games.  Games are played not only for fun and entertainment but for social connection and education with consumer sales growing accordingly.  Playing games is part of every day life for the majority of Kiwis ”

An accompanying sales data infographic can be downloaded here.

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About the research

Games Sales Data (GSD) is a video game sales and reporting initiative for the games industry, by the games industry. GSD report on the sales of both physical retail and digital network markets. Launched in 2017 by ISFE, GSD provides sales figures across EMEA, expanding to APAC in late 2019. Sparkers are the operators of GSD on behalf of the video games industry.   For more information visit: www.sparkers.com

Newzoo Newzoo is a provider of games market data and insights. The data provided to IGEA is sourced from the Newzoo Global Games Market Report April 2022.  For more information visit: https://newzoo.com/

Digital New Zealand (DNZ22) is a report commissioned by IGEA and can be downloaded here.

 

About IGEA

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 business and public policy interests of the games industry, through advocacy, research and education programs. For more information, please visit www.igea.net

 

 

Media spokespeople available

  • Ron Curry, CEO, IGEA
  • Aidan Sakiris, GSD
  • Tom Wijman Newzoo

Please contact igea@doublejump.com.au to arrange an interview.

Australian Video Game Consumer Sales Remain Robust

26
May

SYDNEY, Australia – 26 May 2022 – Australians’ love of playing video games is stronger than ever, according to consumer sales data released today by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA).

In 2021, Australians spent close to $4 billion on video games and consoles.

Mobile game sales exceeded $1.5 billion in Australia last year, making mobile games the most popular consumer category. Video game hardware sales were worth more than half a billion dollars, supporting strong software sales in both digital and physical formats.

IGEA has recently updated agreements with data suppliers sourcing consumer sales from GSD and Newzoo++. GSD reports on the major publisher and hardware sales in both physical and digital format across numerous international markets, while Newzoo reports on game sales data globally. Working with its members, IGEA ensured both sources offer reliable and consistent global consumer sales data that identifies global trends. Newzoo also provides subscription data which is essential when looking at how subscription services impact the way Australians are now playing games.

Aidan Sakiris, ANZ Territory Manager and Senior Analyst at GSD, said, “Australian video game sales in 2021 continued to experience the lasting effects of COVID-19. The Australian retail software charts were led by family-friendly back-catalogue titles on the Nintendo Switch. Top performing retail titles in Australia for 2021 include Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Minecraft Switch Edition and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

“Across GSD reporting, hardware in 2021 remained the only Australian video game category in year-on-year spending growth, despite ongoing stock shortages from the latest console generation. Increased spending on hardware was led by the ongoing demand for higher priced consoles, including the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S, and significant unit sales from Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 5 was the best-selling console in value sold in the Australian market for 2021, whilst the Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in units sold.”

Tom Wijman, Head of Market Analysis & Forecasting at Newzoo, said, “Australia’s games market continued to grow in 2021, mainly due to the pandemic driving up game engagement and spending. Spending on digital PC games grew +11.5% year-on-year and was an important growth driver for the market—growing considerably above the global average. However, spending growth on mobile and digital console gaming content stayed below the global average.”

Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, commented, “It was no surprise for IGEA to see consumer game sales and platforms perform strongly during 2021. Playing games provided a continued source of connection and entertainment for Australians throughout another year of the pandemic, with our Digital Australia 22 (DA22) report revealing that over 75% of us play games. All of the data confirms that games are one of the world’s most powerful entertainment mediums, and this looks set to continue.

“IGEA is also excited to see our local game development industry grow due to increased demand for games both locally and abroad.”

 

An accompanying sales data infographic can be downloaded in the following formats: jpeg, png, pdf.

 

Digital Australia (DA22) is a report commissioned by IGEA and can be downloaded here.

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About the research

Games Sales Data (GSD) is a video game sales and reporting initiative for the games industry, by the games industry. GSD report on the sales of both physical retail and digital network markets. Launched in 2017 by ISFE, GSD provides sales figures across EMEA, expanding to APAC in late 2019. Sparkers are the operators of GSD on behalf of the video games industry.

For more information visit: www.sparkers.com

Newzoo Newzoo is a provider of games market data and insights. The data provided to IGEA is sourced from the Newzoo Global Games Market Report April 2022.

For more information visit: https://newzoo.com

 

About IGEA

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 business and public policy interests of the games industry, through advocacy, research and education programs. For more information, please visit www.igea.net

 

Media spokespeople available

  • Ron Curry, CEO, IGEA
  • Aidan Sakiris, GSD
  • Tom Wijman, Newzoo

Please contact igea@doublejump.com.au to arrange an interview.

IGEA welcomes the incoming Albanese Labor Government

23
May

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

 

Media enquiries:

Media inquiries should be directed to raelene@igea.net

About IGEA

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.

IGEA 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission to the ACT Government

20
May

IGEA has made a submission to the ACT Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate in response to its consultation on the 2022-23 Budget.

More information on the consultation can be found here.

IGEA submission to consultation on the Digital Games Tax Offset Exposure Draft Legislation

19
Apr

IGEA has made a submission to the Australian Treasury in response to its consultation on the Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) Exposure Draft Legislation and Draft Explanatory Statement.

You can find more information on the consultation here.

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