March 18, 2022 by Ben Thompson
Given there’s been a bunch of recent policy and funding announcements that target the gamedev industry it’s timely to give an update of what’s out there:
Games: Expansion Pack fund
The latest news from Screen Australia is an initiative for funding small to medium studio’s game development that have a budget of <$500K. This is the first time since 2014 that indie devs have had direct access to federal funding. The application deadline is 28 April. The full download is on their website.
More screen time
The States are in a battle royale over who loves/supports gamedevs the most. Victoria is giving out cash while the rest are using tax rebates that piggyback off existing PDV offsets. The following are games-specific programs ordered chronologically by date of announcement.
Film Victoria has been replaced by a rebranded VicScreen who has a new production fund and specialist skills program that can provide up to $500K in cash. Victoria has also redefined their screen industry strategy to keep pace with our supercharged screen time (in all its forms).
Screen Queensland has their Digital Games Incentive which is a 15% rebate for QLD-based studios with a minimum eligible spend of $250K.
First in the ring was SA Film’s Video Games Development Rebate that gives a 10% rebate on eligible expenditure for games with a budget of at least $250K.
DGTO is MIA
We are still waiting for meaningful (any) details on the federal Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) that goes beyond a basic press release. It is meant to be operational from 1 July 2022; yet everyone is in the dark on its specifics and the impact it will have on other grants and tax offsets (such as the R&D Tax Incentive).
The lack of concrete publicly-available info is hampering forward planning of resources, budgets, investment and publishing deals.
Once draft legislation is released for consultation we’ll seek your input to add voice to TechLever’s formal response to government. However, the next federal budget is a few weeks away and an election is coming (just like winter) — so we’re not holding our breath on whether the DGTO still has an ETA or if it will GTFO.
One thing we do know (is R&D Tax)
The R&D Tax deadline for FY21 applications is Tuesday 3 May; which has been extended to account for the weekend and a public holiday (in QLD and NT).
If you need help with getting an application across the line or interpreting the new R&D Tax portal questions – you know how to find us.