Game Developers' Association seeks 40 percent rebate in next budget

GDAA “conservatively” estimates that a 40 percent rebate extended to game developers in Australia would lead to an additional $25 million of new investment into original Australian titles each year.

The Australian electronic games industry is calling for the Australian government to support its call for the implementation of an industry-wide rebate to assist the local burgeoning games sector to maintain and extend its globally competitive position.

Game Developers' Association of Australia (GDAA) CEO Greg Bondar said in a media statement that he wants the government to give the electronic games industry the economic benefit of a 40 percent rebate in the 2008 Federal budget, as they have done for the Australian film industry.

"The electronic games industry is already a significant contributor to the Australian economy. It's also part of a larger global entertainment industry, which is now bigger than the film industry and is a major area of export for the Australian economy," he said.

"Unfortunately, the future growth of the industry is dependent on government support. A government rebate will enable our industry to grow, compete on a global scale, employ more Australian talent and make a bigger contribution to our economy."

Bondar said that there are numerous examples in the Australian industry of local companies losing big tenders to rival developers from other countries, including Canada.

"The Canadian government offers significant incentives to publishers and to Canadian-based developer, making it increasingly difficult for Australian companies to compete. As a result of government support, the Canadian industry has grown significantly," he said.

"We know that our local industry has the capacity to become the same sort of global 'centre' of game development as Canada, we just need the leg up to get there."

Based on the current local industry standing and projected earnings, GDAA "conservatively" estimates that a 40 percent rebate extended to game developers in Australia would lead to an additional $25 million of new investment into original Australian titles each year.

"The current lack of profile and understanding of the electronic games industry in Australia also presents significant barriers for Australian companies, particularly when seeking capital assistance," said Bondar.

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