'The sector has been treated like the poor cousin of the creative industries'
Australian Greens deputy leader Senator Scott Ludlam has secured a Senate Inquiry into Australia's video games development industry.
The inquiry call has been supported by the Senate and will begin accepting submissions in days to come. It will be conducted by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications and will be reported in April next year.
"Five years ago, Australia had a burgeoning video game development sector employing thousands of talented people in this rapidly growing industry," said Senator Ludlam.
"Internationally, companies have experienced strong growth thanks to smart government support and favourable regulatory settings.
"In Australia, no such luck: the sector has been treated like the poor cousin of the creative industries, culminating in the Abbott Government's decision to close the $20 million Australian Interactive Games Fund, just 12 months after it was established."
The inquiry will pay particular attention to how Australia can best set regulatory and taxation frameworks that will allow the local video game development industry to grow and fully meet its potential as a substantial employer. It will also look at how Australia can attract video game companies to set up development operations in Australia and employ local staff, and how export opportunities from Australia‘s local video game industry can be maximised and other related matters.
While the landscape for triple-A development in Australia has been relatively bleak, with the final studio of its type shutting down earlier this year, many in the industry have analysed the market and adjusted appropriately, shifting to smaller scale operations with faster turnaround. With that said, investigation into the challenges the Australian industry faces will be appreciated.