It’s important to remember that despite the constant growth in game development in Australia, with the number of indie developers constantly growing and the scene steadily increasing profit margins compared to other entertainment industries … the Australian Government has continually cut funding in the sector. It’s a sad state to be in, but luckily for all those involved there’s a scene change that this week got some much needed attention.

Senator Scott Ludlam, a long time advocate for the local video games industry, has brought forward a motion in the Senate asking the Government to respond to the recent Senate inquiry into the future of the Australian video game development industry. It’s an opportunity for all those involved to finally get a few answers and, hopefully, motion for a new wave of funding.

I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that –
The Senate –
1.    Notes
a.    The videogames industry is the fastest-growing entertainment industry in the world
b.    In Australia in recent years the industry has generated over $2 billion in retail revenue, and it continues to grow
c.    It is larger than the local film industry, but federal government assistance has been cut
d.    The Senate inquiry into the future of Australia’s video game development industry was held from June 2015 to April 2016, with the final report presented on 29 April 2016, which was unanimously agreed to
e.    Under resolution of the Senate, the government is required to respond to Senate inquiries within three months of reporting

2.    Orders that there be laid on the table no later than 2pm Thursday 13 October 2016 by the Minister for Arts, the Government response to the Senate inquiry into the future of Australia’s video game development industry.

– Senator Scott Ludlam (via http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/)

It’s not guaranteed, but it’s certainly a positive to have someone at the forefront of the conversation and pushing it forward. I’ve been a writer for a long time, on and off, and I’ve seen the local industry chance rapidly over the years. Where once we had a number of local developers working on big name IP’s, we’ve now evolved into a expressive, imaginative indie industry that’s continually releasing amazing content independently on every platform. From Crossy Road to Armello, Train Conductor World to Star Hammer 2, there’s a ton of amazing studios out there and some key players in ensuring their continued support, but of late it’s only been at State level.

What we’re seeing is a change in attitude. We’re sitting on a gold mine, an industry that’s making more profits than any Hollywood production (no offence, Thor), yet left behind from proper Government funding. Hopefully this motion will start a new era, to ensure future development is nourished on all fronts.

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