Victoria’s games industry receiving a huge boost

Posted on June 16, 2017

In a break from our E3 news (or perhaps because of E3 with the timing), we’re bringing things local.

It’s an incredible day to be a Victorian games developer. Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, has released plans to support Nine Victorian studios on their major projects with a whopping $654,000 dollars contributed between the studios.

With largely indie games studios receiving the boost, it’s a huge step forward for the Australian games market.  More than half of Australia’s games studios reside within Melbourne, making it the gaming capital of Australia.

Hyper Jam, from Developers Bit Dragon

The image above is Hyper Jam, from Victorian developer Bit Dragon.

So what does this mean for Melbourne? This funding is expected to build more jobs and generate $1.2 million for the state. Technical jobs such as programming are expected to rise, as well as script writing, music, and marketing. This will also create a lot more opportunities for these studios to grow and produce other games.

“Victoria is the only state to consistently invest in games and it’s paying off – with a thriving industry that continues to grow and attract the best talent.” – Martin Foley

It’s incredibly exciting to see this happening as Australia becomes more prominent in the gaming world. For an industry thought to be male dominated, Melbourne has many incredibly diverse studios. It’s gratifying to see them not only getting funding, but being acknowledged for the talent that is so often over looked.

Speaking for a moment as a Melbourne games developer, the industry has been crying out for this push forward. My only critique is that there isn’t more funding for more studios, but hopefully, this is the only the start.

Two of the studios receiving funding, Harmonious Games and Paper House, are producing games that started as university projects at Swinburne and RMIT.  Funding for Australian graduates in regards to getting games published or getting jobs is pretty low, so it’s gratifying to see this will help address both.

Putty Pals, an adorable co-op puzzle solver from Harmonious Games

Pictured above is Putty Pals, an adorable co-op puzzle game from Harmonious Games.

In addition to this boost, the Labour government is also offering grants for major games who have applied for PAX AUS via PAX Rising as part of International Games Week 2017. They will be able to apply for support as part of PAX Rising to help with the cost of Registration and stand hire. Full details can be found here.

Have a look through the full list of supported games below:

Interested in more of Melbourne’s diverse studios? Head down to ACMI from the 25th of July onwards for Code Breakers, the first Australian exhibition celebrating women in gaming.  With a constant push  for more diversity and equality in gaming, Code Breakers is an incredible step forward. The fact that this is the first exhibition about women games developers really articulates why we’ll need more funding for more diverse studios in the future.

“This funding supports a wide range of projects that showcase the diversity of our industry. By investing in games, we are investing in the jobs and industries of the future and boosting our reputation as the creative state.” –Martin Foley

Here’s hoping he can keep it up for us. Big things hopefully to come from Melbourne’s game scene. (Hopefully out of yours truly as well!)

Read the full release here.