The Australian government has passed a $1.9 billion research and development tax bill for the videogame industry this week, according to Develop. The bill, which becomes the law of the land in July, will support various videogame studios under a "digital creative industries" designation. The law will help companies save money on research and development costs for a range of projects, as long as some conditions are met.
Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association is delighted with the new R&D tax credit. He says that this move by the government "has already attracted the interest of many global game publishers."
Antony Reed, CEO of the Game Developers Association of Australia, also backed the new policy.
“Since the first announcement of the R&D Tax reform and in our own discussions with the [culture] Department, it became very clear that the government has confidence in the abilities of Australian SMEs to deliver ground-breaking innovations for the global market,” said Reed. "Innovation is at the heart of game development and the introduction of the new legislation not only assists in levelling the global competitive playing field, but also affords the local industry the opportunity to challenge traditional gameplay conventions."
This is good news for Australia’s game development industry, which has been in the decline according to a February 2011 study by the Interactive Skills Integration Scheme. That report claimed that Australia had lost about 1,000 development jobs, or 50 percent of its development workforce, since 2008.