Finally, some good news for Australian games developers. Crossbench support has been announced for a bill which will provide a $1.9 billion tax break for local game developers to spend on research and development.
The bill will benefit numerous companies that work in the digital creative industries, including computer and video games. It is hoped that this cash injection will provide Australia's flagging games industry with a much-needed shot in the arm. In recent years, local games development has shed approximately 50% of its workforce.
The Games Developers’ Association of Australia has released a statement welcoming the news.
“Innovation is at the heart of game development and the introduction of the new legislation not only assists in levelling the global competitive playing field, but also affords the local industry the opportunity to challenge traditional gameplay conventions,” said Antony Reed, Chief Executive of the GDAA.
“...The government has confidence in the abilities of Australian SMEs to deliver ground-breaking innovations for the global market.”
The new tax break is also expected to reinvigorate interest from international games publishers in the local market.
“Once the legislation is passed through the Senate we should expect to see an increase in investment interest from publishers that have established development studios in Australia and potentially far greater investment in the intellectual properties being developed within local game development studios,” said Ron Curry, Chief Executive Officer of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association.
The Gillard Labor Government’s $1.8 billion R&D Tax Credit will be enacted next month (July 1).