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 74% of Australian game developers create their own IP. Welcome to Australia’s digital games industry.
- Federal tax offset and state incentives worth up to 45% of eligible development costs
- Deep pools of creative and tech talent
- Support for 24-hour games development cycles
- ...and that great Australian lifestyle.
The Digital Games Tax Offset
Australia’s new Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) is a game changer for the industry.
- 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.
R&D tax incentives may be applicable to eligible activity in games-related technologies. Applicants however cannot claim both the DGTO and R&D tax incentive for the same activity.
‘The DGTO will help us double or even triple the number of people who work in the industry in 5 years. It will be a sea change for the industry.’
– Philip Mayes, Managing Director and CEO, Mighty Kingdom.
Local support from 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.
Top tech talent
Australia’s tech industry is one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere
- More than 3,000 skilled games students graduate each year in Australia.
- Our higher education colleges graduate 100,000 tech and creative students per year.
- Local colleges teach digital art, 3-D modelling, animation and audio engineering.
- Australia nurtures world-leading animation and VFX capabilities thanks to our film industry.
- Home-grown expertise in AI, machine learning, blockchain and AR/VR immersive tech.
The Australian Government supports digital innovation. The Global Talent Visa Program provides a streamlined visa pathway for highly skilled professionals.
‘The flow of fresh graduate talent is amazing. The graduates are passionate and hungry for success.’
– Craig Ritchie, Co-Founder, Drop Bear Bytes.
A magnet for investors
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, Wargaming and Gameloft are developing AAA games in Australia.
- Nacon acquired Big Ant in January 2021, helping to create a new leader in sports games.
- Australian unicorn Immutable X raised a further A$280 million in March 2022 to develop Web3 games technology.
- Since 2018, Supercell has made a series of strategic investments in racing game specialist Ultimate Studio.
- In July 2021 Animoca Brands acquired indie games developer Blowfish Studios to expand its cross-platform games capability.
Great Australian games
Australian studios win international awards. Witchbeam won ‘Game of the Year’ at the 2022 BAFTA Awards with Unpacking. Modern Storyteller gained a nomination for The Forgotten City. Meanwhile, Gameloft Brisbane topped Apple Arcade in 2021.
Drop Bear Bytes: Broken Roads
Gameloft Brisbane: The Oregon Trail (remake)
Mighty Kingdom: Conan Chop, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Peter Rabbit Run
mod.io: (modding/UGC platform)
Prideful Sloth: Yonder – The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, Grow – Song of the Evertree
SMG Studio: Moving Out
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.
Melbourne International Games Week (1–9 October 2022) is the largest digital games celebration in the Asia Pacific. It includes conferences, events and activities for the games industry, games enthusiasts and educators.
Startup hubs. 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.
’The Australian digital game development scene is in a league of its own. It's a wildly talented, intensely supportive, and admirably collaborative industry.’
– Alanah Pearce, Writer/Producer & Charity Streamer
 Once legislated.