By Steve Wright
Federal Minister for the Arts, the Hon Simon Crean, today announced the Australian government's pledge to allocate $20 million over the next three years to help support the Australian game development industry.
Crean made the announcement today at the Screen Producers Association of Australia National Conference in Melbourne. The allocated monies will create the Australian Interactive Games Fund, which Crean's office has confirmed will provide $5 million to the industry in its first two years, and $10 million in its third.
"Australian games studios are recognised internationally for their skill and originality in developing interactive games played all over the world, but the local industry is coming under increased pressure in the midst of a major market shift," Crean said. "This is a substantial investment to foster this growing sector where artists, musicians, writers, performers, and software developers collaborate to meet the local and global demand for interactive entertainment and education."
The Australian Interactive Games Fund seeks to mirror past successes in Australia's development sphere, such as Fruit Ninja by Queensland-based Halfbrick Studios. Crean acknowledged past efforts and pledged to assist in the drive to move development forward. "New technologies are creating previously unimaginable gaming platforms, and, significantly, new modes of storytelling, which are shaping our creative industries," he said.
According to Crean's office, the fund will deliver A$5 million per annum in 2012-13, and will jump to A$10 million per annum in 2014-15.