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Business Envoy February 2022

The booming Australian digital games industry

Already one of the world's largest and fastest-growing entertainment sectors before COVID-19 hit, the digital games industry further expanded during the pandemic. Worth $240 billion globally in 2020, the market is set to reach $294 billion in 2024.

Australia is home to a growing games industry. In 2021, the sector contributed $226.5million in revenue, an increase of 22 per cent on 2020, and 83 per cent of revenue is from overseas markets.

These numbers are set to boom further, thanks to the introduction of generous federal and state-based tax incentives. The Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO), coming into effect in 2022, will allow studios to claim 30 per cent of eligible expenditures. State-based programs complement the DGTO, with South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales offering an additional 10 per cent and Queensland offering 15 per cent.

Tax offsets are a tried and proven mechanism that has allowed countries like Canada and the UK to grow their digital games industries exponentially. With incentives now at a minimum of 40 per cent, Australia will emerge as a serious global player in game development. The local industry has already seen investments worth more than $270 million since late 2020 and has the potential to grow into a billion-dollar industry within the next ten years.

Digital games development will be a crucial pillar of a modern, digital, and creative Australia. Making digital games involves every type of media, from animation, to sound, music, and cinematography. In addition to the direct economic benefit, games production adds complexity, talent and a range of transferable skills to the economy.

The recently announced government incentives for game development firmly prove that Australia is open for business. Established Australian studios are well placed to expand in terms of employees and projects. We already have a few international studios here, including EA Firemonkeys, Sledgehammer Games, Gameloft Brisbane and Wargaming Sydney. We expect to see more establish a base here and take advantage not only of the incentives, but experienced, creative and talented staff, plus our amazing lifestyle and perfect time-zones. There is no better time to get over here.

Ron Curry, CEO of Interactive Games & Entertainment Association


Hollow Knight by Gameplay

Hollow Knight by Gameplay

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