The Australian Government will invest $20 million into an Australian Interactive Games Fund over the next three years, Computerworld Australia reported.
The first distribution is expected to occur by the end of the financial year, and the decision about how the money will be spent will be determined next year.
“This fund will assist the sector to reclaim their competitive advantage and support the development of games in Australia, investing in the intellectual property of our creative businesses to give them a stronger position internationally,” said Arts Minister Simon Crean at yesterday’s 2012 Screen Producers Association of Australia conference in Melbourne.
Australia’s gaming industry has grown significantly over the past few years, with companies such as EA, THQ, Take-Two, Rockstar Games and SEGA establishing a presence Down Under to offer a range of games and apps for both educational and entertainment purposes.
In a study cited by Dr Tim Marsh in a previous article published in Business Review Australia, more adults between the ages of 18-50 play computer games than kids under the age of 18, and more businesses are beginning to harness the ‘serious gaming’ concept, involving those intended for learning, training, and informational purposes, within the workplace.
According to Caroline Taylor, IBM UK & Ireland Vice President of Marketing and Communications, serious gaming is especially effective to “train the workforce of tomorrow, give them the skills that they are going to need as well as improving the skills of the people who are already out in the business environment today.”
The federal government’s investment is a big step forward in the development of this industry.
"We are delighted at the governments support to the Games Industry as we believe this investment will provide a great opportunity for producers across all genres and platforms to work with the games sector to develop dynamic content that will engage and excite audiences,” said Brian Rosen, SPAA President, according to the organisation’s media release.
“We look forward to seeing the further outcomes emanating out of the cultural review."