Australia is a global leader in digital games.
Australian-made games are rocketing up global sales charts. Our indie developers are partnering with global publishers. Our studios are attracting multimillion-dollar investment. And 85% of Australian game developers create their own IP.
Whether it’s developing award-winning digital games, using virtual reality to train industry or digital twins to manage industrial sites, the possibilities are endless for Australia’s digital games industry.
Are you looking to invest in Australia’s digital games industry? We offer:
- Federal and state tax offsets worth up to 45% of development costs
- Deep pools of creative and tech talent
- Support for 24-hour games development cycles
- A track record of critically and commercially successful IP
- …and that great Australian lifestyle.
Our higher education colleges graduate 100,000 tech and creative students per year. Around 3,000 have specific games-related qualifications.
Thinking about entering the Australian market?
- Investors typically establish a new company, register as a foreign company or acquire an existing company. Assess your options with our Investor Guide.
- Austrade is Australia’s national investment promotion agency. We attract and facilitate game-changing foreign direct investment into Australia. Our team of business and investment specialists can connect investors to early-stage opportunities in Australia and provide direct and tailored professional assistance. Find out how we can help.
Find your home in Australia
Level Up: Our 2023 guide to the digital games industry in Australia.
Creating chart-topping games
Australian studios win international awards.
- Witchbeam: Unpacking. It won ‘Game of the Year’ at the 2022 BAFTA Awards.
- Modern Storyteller: The Forgotten City. Nominated for the 2022 BAFTA Awards.
- Massive Monster: Cult of the Lamb – 2022’s biggest indie hit. It was nominated for three 2023 BAFTA Games Awards including best game.
- Drop Bear Bytes: Broken Roads.
- Gameloft Brisbane: The Oregon Trail (remake). It topped Apple Arcade in 2021.
- mod.io: (modding/UGC platform).
- Prideful Sloth: Yonder – The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, Grow – Song of the Evertree.
- Mighty Kingdom: Star Trek: Lower Decks. It won the Best Storytelling award at the Pocket Gamer Mobile Game Awards in London in April 2023.
Home to global talent
Our prowess in digital games is driven by deep skills in multiple technologies. Our young developers and experienced studio execs create the perfect blend of commercial, tech and creative talent.
- More than 3,000 skilled games students graduate each year in Australia.
- Local colleges teach engineering, game design, digital art, 3-D modelling, animation and audio engineering.
- Our tech industry is one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
- A wave of Aussie expats are returning to run studios.
- Global Talent visas are now available for top-skilled industry professionals.
Our colleges produce excellent graduates with all the necessary skills to make great games.’
- Joshua Sanderson, Co-founder, Team WIBY (Phantom Abyss).
- More than 3,200 Australians are employed across Australia’s digital games ecosystem. More than 2,100 are directly employed in Australian games studios, a 59 per cent year-on-year increase (Source: Level Up: A Guide to the Australian Games Industry 2023).
- Games studio income rose 26% in just one year, from 2020/21 to 2021/22 (Source: IGEA 2022).
- Two in 3 Australians play digital games (Source: Digital Australia 2022).
- Australian games development studios earned A$284.4m in revenue in 2021/22 (Source: IGEA Australian Game Development Survey 2022).
- 84% of Australian game studio revenue comes from international markets (Source: Level Up: A Guide to the Australian Games Industry 2023).
- Australian industry shines when technology and creativity are incorporated. Cultural and creative industries contribute A$122.3 billion a year to Australia’s economy (Source: Australian Government 2022). And the Australian tech sector contributes A$167 billion (Source: Benchmark Report 2023, 2020–21 GDP).
Incentives, grants, and support
Australia’s thriving digital landscape is supported by a range of federal and state incentives that enable businesses to unlock their potential.
Our booming digital games industry is supported by a federal tax offset and state incentives worth up to 45% of eligible development costs.
The Digital Games Tax Offset
- Australia’s new Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) is a game changer. It offers:
- a 30% refundable tax offset.
- available on eligible games with qualifying expenditure of more than A$500,000.
- worth up to A$20 million each year.
- claimable for eligible expenditure up to A$66.7m a year incurred from 1 July 2022.
- can be combined with state-based incentives worth 10–15%.
- Screen Australia’s Games: Expansion Pack initiative is open to games with budgets below $500,000. Grants are worth up to A$150,000.
Support from Australian states and territories
- Games developers can combine DGTO with grants from Australian states and territories.
- New South Wales: A 10% Digital Games Rebate for qualifying expenditure of at least A$500,000. Early Development and Advanced Development grants of up to A$50,000.
- Queensland: A 15% Digital Games Incentive, now available to game developers spending at least A$250,000 in the state.
- South Australia: A 10% rebate of eligible expenditure over A$250,000.
- Victoria: VicScreen grants of up to 10% of qualifying expenditure for games costing at least A$500,000. Supplementary funding for studios worth A$30,000–A$300,000.
Additional incentives and support
- The Research and Development Tax Incentive encourages businesses to invest more in R&D through tax offsets. It is applicable for businesses developing innovative products that aren’t eligible for the DGTO.
- Research institutions such as Australian Research Council, CSIRO, Charles Sturt University, and Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments may offer funding and grants for innovative research projects incorporating game development, VR and AR.
- The Australian Tax Office’s New Investment Engagement Service gives tailored guidance on tax issues to businesses planning significant new investments in Australia.
Video: Aussie Games Showcase
Our thriving ecosystem
- The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) supports the Australian digital games industry, including through the Australian Game Developer Awards and the flagship Games Connect Asia Pacific professional conference in Melbourne.
- Screen Australia is the Australian Government agency that supports screen development, production and promotion. Individual states and territories also offer support via their own development agencies: VicScreen, Screen NSW, the South Australian Film Corporation, Screenwest in Western Australia, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania and Screen Territory.
- Australia offers numerous startup hubs, accelerators and coworking spaces:
- Game Plus workspaces bring together game developers and related tech startups in Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra.
- Screen Queensland operates the SQhub co-working space for screen creatives in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
- ACMI X is a coworking community that houses more than 60 creative practitioners and start-ups in a creative culture of collaboration, innovation and sustainability.
- The QUT Design Lab is a community of designers, engineers, roboticists, creative thinkers, makers, artists, health practitioners and innovators all working to transform ideas into tangible design artefacts, images, spaces, interactions and processes.
- Techstars is an accelerator based at Tech Central Sydney that supports start-ups focused on emerging technologies including creative tech.
- The Australian Institute of Music (AIM) Innovation Hub is home to a thriving community of startups that help musicians and the industry with a wide range of next-generation technologies.
A magnet for investors
Studios based in Australia are creating some of the world’s most popular games, making them a magnet for multimillion-dollar investment.
Global capital is pouring into Australia’s digital games industry. We welcome foreign investment from AAA studios and ambitious startups. With international acclaim, pro-business regulation and a cracking lifestyle, our games eco-system is growing fast.
- Sledgehammer Games, Electronic Arts, Keyword Studios, Riot Games and Gameloft are developing AAA games in Australia.
- Nacon acquired Big Ant in January 2021, helping to create a new global leader in sports games.
- Since 2018, Supercell has made a series of strategic investments in racing game specialist Ultimate Studio.