Australia a "top-three territory" within five years

Game Developers Association of Australia CEO believes tax credits will inspire rapid growth

The Game Developers Association of Australia intends to make the territory one of the top-three development communities in the world.

In an interview with Gamespot, GDAA CEO Tony Reed cited the R&D tax credits announced last month as the boost the country's industry needs. If the legislation passes, businesses with annual turnover of less than AUS $20 million will be refunded 45 percent of their research costs.

This would apply to the majority of Australian developers, prompting Reed to describe the package as, "the most convenient and easiest... we've ever seen from the government."

"No matter how big or small a studio is, this is the kind of thing that will encourage development," Reed added. "It is designed with our own independence, creativity, and innovation in mind."

"Our goal at the GDAA is to prepare Australia to become one of the top three territories in the world for game development within the next five years. I think this can be achieved. The industry is doing really great right now and we seem to have gone back to our roots in generating amazing content."

For more information on Australia's R&D tax credits, click here.

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Latest comments (10)

I would be interested to see how an Australian developer qualifies for these research credits, and what criteria is required for it to be fulfilled. It would certainly bear consideration in relation to any further lobbying for pro game incentives in UK.

With regards to GDAA aspiring to improve Australia as a top flight game development sector, last I checked all our clients, friends and co workers had bailed out of Australia for better proper game dev opportunities elsewhere.

Granted there is some great Aussie talent, I sincerely hope that Aussie development recovers and has sustainable growth.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 6 years ago
Bold claim for a country of 22 million people.
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Blaise Guy Studying Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology6 years ago
What's the largest games development studio in the world, Klaus?
Surely, there could still be a few hundred workers from those 22 million in an Australian company ;)

That said, though, I don't think it will matter unless we get an absurdly rich investor to give us millions of dollars for international advertising - that is where the dollars really come from, unfortunately. How many Modern Warfare 3 ads have you seen in the last month? :/
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Tony Johns6 years ago
Australian Developers have sucked when it comes to sport games.

Like AFL and NRL Live both completely suck compared to the FIFA games.

And yet...they blame it on the lack of money as the reasons why they are below the FIFA quality.

Well now that the government support is finally coming in, THEY HAVE NO EXCUSE!!!!

Also, best Aussie games are DeBlob and Puzzle Quest.

All of the rest are below average and not really worth my time.

They try to be real Western type of games, but they are way below quality when you consider how better other games from international developers are.

I still think that Japanese games are awesome because they don't rely on being realistic, yet every Aussie made game that tries to be realistic has always failed.

DeBlob should set an example that if Aussie developers can't make realistic games, then they need to change their plans on what sort of games they want to develop or else they will be squeezed out of competition and none of that government money is ever going to help them.

Also LA Nore but Team Bondai was lucky because TakeTwo was the publisher and helped them out. Most Publishers don't do enough to help the Aussie Developer out. And the sad part is that Government Money is not going to do anything unless if you hire the people with the different ideas and the team of people who are able to make those ideas a reality and a Publisher who see's more than just the money or more than what sells these days.

Australian developers might see the government investment into their industry as a good thing, but from what I am seeing needing to require certain things in the game to be government funded, all I see is a Australian Government Censorship trap for all game developers.

And that will only result in developers forced to make games that nobody will want to play.

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In addition, there is the global challenge that producing a AAA or AA lite game is just too risky/expensive these days without some serious muscle, backing, marketing and talent.

As such, I do not for see a new or existing Aussie indepedendant being able to produce this kind of game calibre that can represent a world cheeleader on gaming.

This in turn means, the options are

- iOS games
- game ports
- mobile smartphone and social games
- web and casual games

And as you mention Tony, making games people want to play.

As such, I have to take a gigantic pinch of salt that I might overdose, in relation to the articles aggrandised claim of being a top three game developer nation, anytime of 2010-2020. But I wish I be proven wrong because Aussie land has such lovely folk and atmosphere, and pockets of talent but not enough to pool together to make a serious dent in the game Market, produce by Aussies
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Wafik Salim Studying Video Game Design (Art), Academy of Interactive Entertainment6 years ago
Australia's devs need to take an outsider's look at our industry. The reason our games don't sell? Our games are bad. The only ones that do sell are little tiny iOS apps that cost a dollar and you play on the toilet.
Our games tend to be bad because there's no vision behind them, they are just generic games that are average at best, that will have a whole bunch of gameplay elements that are stolen from what's popular at the time because our companies are playing it safe and not taking risks with unique IP.

Our movie industry is the same though, the majority of home grown Aussie movies that leave our country just bomb.

I personally think Australia is suffering from the Japan Effect right now. Japan is currently in a bad cycle where they release games whilst trying to appeal to the west in their games, when it was the games themselves that brought us to love them in the first place, not western twists.
Australia is trying too hard to please everyone that they keep forgetting to make an enjoyable game in the process.

I really hope these grants help populate our map and create companies that can change how the Aussie Gaming scene is.
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Stephen Knightly Chairperson, New Zealand Game Developers Association 6 years ago
I'm in New Zealand, which is next door to Australia, and our games industry is booming at the moment but certainly from a smaller base. In fact, we've had to import experienced Australian (as well as US) developers.

New Zealand devs seem to have focused on premium online, smartphone and digital distribution and have done well out of it. No one is seriously pursuing AAA console work. However, the result is that the profile is low - you may have played a NZ made game but never known it (eg, Chopper, Bloons, Platypus, Toss It, Path of Exile).
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Jonathan Kerr Artist 6 years ago
Klaus, the population of Canada is only 34,508,000 according to their latest census (up from 32m five years earlier). Only half again as much as Australia.

Yet, people consider Canada an epicentre of game development.
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Andrew Goulding Director, Brawsome6 years ago
With an extra 45% to our budget we could definitely make a huge difference in the quality of our products. We have to focus on smaller titles so we can do a good job of them and our latest title - MacGuffin's Curse, is looking quite good, but could definitely benefit from the extra time that more money would bring.

Don't think that more money won't make for better games. I've seen the talent we've got working here on shoestring budgets trying to make something great, but at the end of the day there are bills to pay and some games have to be released before the developers are 100% happy with them.

LA Noire gave us a bad rap and I don't think that this should be an example of what can be done if the money is there. That being said, LA Noire still turned out okay, though it could have been much better if a very small handful of individuals were taken out of the equation.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Goulding on 7th July 2011 10:21pm

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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ6 years ago
Some great discussion here. :) Interesting to get the perspective of people around the world, and a variety of Australians too. :) Great to hear the government has set about this 45% R&D tax back system! Aussie Aussie Aussie! :)

I'd like to think that it could have a generally positive and encouraging effect as these incentives seem to have in the Canadian game development landscape.
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