The Australian Government has decided to axe the Australian Interactive Games Fund – intended to support the local game development industry – and reallocating the savings to “repair the budget and fund policy priorities.”
Announced back in November 2012 and described as “welfare for nerds” by 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, the former Gillard Government pledged $20 million over the next three years to help local game developers to “reclaim their competitive advantage” in overseas markets. According to Kotaku Australia back in November 2012:
$5 million will be available during the first two years of the program, a figure that doubles to $10 million in 2014-2015.
Screen Australia decided to split the funding into two, both designed to support independent Australian game developers – a Games Production fund to support developers produce original games, and a Games Enterprise fund designed to support businesses enhance their sustainability and fund ongoing development of their projects.
Thirty-one indie developers – 21 from the Games Production fund and 10 from the Games Enterprise fund – are affected by the changes: including The Voxel Agents (Train Conductor and Toy Mania), Flat Earth Games (Towncraft), Loveshack Entertainment (Framed) and Tantalus Media (Funky Barn).