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Australia cancels federal funding program for game development
Australia cancels federal funding program for game development
May 13, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

The Australian government plans to shut down the Australian Interactive Games Fund on July 1st, reneging on its pledge to bolster Australia's game industry by pouring $20 million in federal funds into the sector to fund local game development.

Half of that money has already been distributed to Australian game developers via Screen Australia, the Australian government's organization for funding the screen production industry -- including game development.

The remaining $10 million will be repurposed to "repair the Budget and fund policy priorities," according to the Australian government's recently published 2014-2015 federal budget proposal.

No formal announcement has yet been made about how this will affect Australian developers who are currently receiving government funding, or what will happen to Screen Australia's game development programs going forward.

The news was first brought to our attention by No Goblin co-founder Dan Teasdale, who is currently working in the U.S. on the revolving chauffeur simulator Roundabout.

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Jeff Leigh
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Makes sense to me - why pour money into an industry that already has so much supply that the value of the product is approaching $0?

Julian Cram
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And yet they are spending $245million on a god damn chaplaincy program in public schools.

No amount of justification exists for cutting this program.

Kaitlyn Kaid
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Montreal's gaming industry can be traced directly back to Ubisoft opening up shop in the late 90s. They were attracted mainly because of grants and big tax breaks, now Montreal is one of the larger centers of development in the world.

The Australian grant was planned to be self-sustaining after a few years, the money going out of the plan would be more than matched by money coming in from those who have completed the program in previous years. Not only would this plan have helped the Australian gaming industry recover, but it would have been profitable in the long term and been able to expand.

Daniel Burke
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I wonder if they are also cutting back on the Film industry funding too then.

tony oakden
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they are cutting back on everything, but it's a shame they've taken away the grant.

Fa rbs
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What Tony said.

The loss of the grants is a little sad, but there are other aspects of the budget that make me (and, I hope, anyone else who is aware of them) fcking furious.

Marvin Papin
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But today, with crowdfunding approach : if you cannot crowfund your game, it probably not worth using that funds. And mostly that kind of funds are not used the right way. Or by people who do not know anything about VG development.

John Woznack
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This is precisely why no video game development company should EVER consider any government funding/tax breaks for any reason, IMHO. They'll promise you the sun and the moon one day, and take it back the next.