It is an exciting time to be part of Australia’s video games industry.
Its an even more exciting time if you are looking at entering the Australian games market for the first time.
Effective from 1 July 2022, qualifying games developers can secure government rebates of up to 45c in the dollar of eligible Australian game development spend. This means if you spend $1M on qualifying Australian game development, you can potentially receive $450K back in your pocket.
Australia has a network of government agencies through which these incentives can be secured.
– Digital games tax offset (DGTO): a 30% refundable tax offset for qualifying Australian development expenditure on eligible games from 1 July 2022. It is available for completion, porting or ongoing development (live ops) on eligible digital games with at least $500,000 of qualifying expenditure. (link)
– Screen Australia games grant program:
- Screen Australia opens rounds of games funding throughout the year. The last round offered up to $150K for independent games developers. (Link)
- Screen Australia offers a dedicated first nations games developers studio fund – providing up to $150K development support per annum. (Link)
– Australian Tax Office/AusIndustry R&D tax incentives: Two R&D tax offsets are available:
- a refundable tax offset of (FY22) CTR + 18.5% where the aggregated turnover of the claimant is less than $20 million; or
- a non-refundable tax offset of (FY22) CTR + 8.5% / 16.5% where the aggregated turnover of the claimant is$20 million and over (Link).
In addition to Australia-wide incentives, rebates and grants, each Australian state offers additional local incentives for games developers.
Screen Queensland offers games developers:
- 15% rebate on eligible Queensland games development expenditure
- up to $50K grant scheme for local games development
* Queensland’s funding and incentive framework is currently under review. Keypoint will provide updates as new announcements are made in this space.
New South Wales
- Screen NSW offers a 10% rebate on eligible digital games development with qualifying NSW expenditure of at least $500,000. NSW has paused its games rebate. Further information about this pause can be found here.
- The Victorian Production Fund – Up to $300,000 per stage and up to $500,000 per project is available to be cash-flowed into projects, with the equity remaining with the company or individual. (link)
- VSI – Digital Games offers up to 10% rebate on eligible Victorian spend over $500k minimum spend threshold (link)
- VSDR – Victorian Digital Screen Rebate – offers rebates of up to 15% for eligible Victorian spend over the $500K minimum spend threshold where the applicant company is 100% Victorian owned.
South Australian Film Corporation offers the SA Video Game development rebate. This is a rebate of up to 10% of eligible South Australian video game development expenditure with a minimum threshold of $250K. (link)
Screen West offers:
- Digital Games Production Fund – is designed to help Western Australian studios and developers bring their ideas and prototypes to a level that will gain interest from other investors and partners, have successful releases and achieve high player retention post launch. Up to $200K available through the fund per annum, capped at $150K per game. (link)
- Digital Games Business Accelerator Fund assists Western Australian digital games companies with business development and capacity building. Up to $50K available per annum. (Link)
Screen Tasmania offers:
- Conceptual design grants of up to $10K (link)
- Production and release funding – Recoupable grant of up to $30K for production-ready projects with quantifiable end user/target market and revenue streams (link)
- Production and release funding (Co-investment stream) – Equity investment of up to $300K for suitably co-financed projects Production and relevant (link)
Screen Territory offers:
- Conceptual development funding – Up to $10 000 per application to deliver micro-prototypes demonstrating innovative game mechanics and audience/market. (link)
- Prototype funding – Up to $25 000 contributing to a significant development work which illustrate core gameplay and key differentiators of game to market competitors (link)
- Vertical slice / early access funding – Up to $40 000 contributing to polished core gameplay, where players can experience a good representation of full release gameplay. (link)
Australian Capital Territory
ArtsACT offers Arts Activities funding in two streams:
- Up to $5000 for smaller projects which is open all year round
- Up to $50K for larger projects in two funding rounds each year.
Other useful links
For information and management of ABN registrations.
A very useful portal to connect with the ATO as well as gain valuable information about the management of taxation in Australia. This should be a go-to site for all businesses in Australia.
For all Australian privacy compliance law and regulations, and related issues.
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please also note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.