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Digital games in Queensland

Thanks to Australia’s most generous digital games tax rebate and a booming tech sector, Queensland’s digital games industry is thriving.

Queensland has been home to various major AAA studios over the past 20 years, including Gameloft, the world’s number one developer of mobile games such as Zombie Anarchy, Ballistic Baseball and Oregon Trail. Now, Queensland also boasts a strong and growing indie studio market that includes Brisbane-based Witch Beam, creator of the multi-award-winning game Unpacking.

A 2021 Accenture report commissioned by the Tech Council of Australia identified South-East Queensland as the fastest growing region for tech jobs in Australia.

Studios establishing themselves in Queensland can take advantage of Screen Queensland’s Digital Games Incentive, which offers up to 15% of eligible Queensland game development expenditure, as well as access to Screen Queensland initiatives such as SQhub residencies, paid placements to facilitate internships, and seed funding for startups in the digital games space.

Since announcing the Digital Games Incentive in 2021, Queensland has already enticed Australia’s largest publicly listed games developer, PlaySide Studios, to establish a new studio on the Gold Coast.

The Queensland Government is also helping to develop local immersive technologies talent and support increased use of Extended Reality (XR) in the state’s priority industries through the Queensland XR Hub. The Hub connects local capability with international industry, investors and leading VR/AR hardware technologies across a range of industries.

Emergeworlds, Toast VR and Halfbrick are already active in this space and Queensland VR developers have been responsible for two of the top 20 globally selling VR games.

Incentives, grants and support

Queensland has an established track record for welcoming international companies. It remains one of Australia’s lowest cost jurisdictions to establish and operate a business, with Australia’s most favourable payroll tax rates, competitive wages across tech fields and an attractive suite of government incentives and programs.

Game development is supported across all levels of government in Queensland. New studios will find enthusiastic support offered by local councils, through initiatives like the City of Gold Coast’s Screen Attraction Program. The only one of its kind in Australia, the program includes digital games and aims to contribute to the growth of the screen sector in the city. International and local productions may be eligible for up to A$250,000 worth of funding towards their projects.

Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) is the Queensland State Government’s dedicated global business agency to help international investors. TIQ works with Screen Queensland to facilitate international games studios’ interest and investment into the state.

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