News

Australia can't afford to ignore gaming: Simon Crean

“Now Australia ... has to get a slice of the action, and Australia has some of the world’s best in this space,” Mr Crean said on Melbourne radio.
“Now Australia ... has to get a slice of the action, and Australia has some of the world’s best in this space,” Mr Crean said on Melbourne radio. Inga Williams

FEDERAL Arts Minister Simon Crean readily admits he was "dismissive" when the idea of putting up federal funding for Australia's gaming industry was first raised with him.

But there was one figure which made the veteran politician sit up and take notice.

Gaming is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy and is tipped to become a $90 billion a year industry by 2015. In Australia it is already a $1.5 billion industry.

It's a number Mr Crean says Australia cannot afford to ignore.

"Now Australia ... has to get a slice of the action, and Australia has some of the world's best in this space," Mr Crean said on Melbourne radio.

He was speaking after revealing at the Screen Producers Association of Australian national conference that the Federal Government would establish a $20 million Australian Interactive Games Fund.

Screen Australian will administer the fund, with the $20 million spread over three years. It was hoped the fund would be operating by March, with $5 million available in the first two years jumping to $10 million in the third year.

Mr Crean used the film Happy Feet to explain the concept of interactive gaming to radio host Neil Mitchell, who asked if the fund was "welfare for nerds".

"Now I started with the same position as you Neil until I went to George Miller's studios in Sydney," he said.

"He did Happy Feet and he had all these people working on the animation not just for the film, but the animation for the extension of the film - the interactive game."

The fund will also help people develop game ideas for a number of platforms including apps for iPhones and tablets.

He cited the example of Queensland company Halfbrick Studios - maker of the popular app Fruit Ninja - to show the work being done in Australia.

The Fruit Ninja app for iPhones and iPads has been downloaded hundreds of millions of times around the world.

"Australian games studios are recognised internationally for their skill and originality in developing interactive games played all over the world but the local industry is coming under increased pressure in the midst of a major market shift," he said.

"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."

Game developers and start-up companies will be invited to apply for funding, with Screen Australia to develop guidelines over the coming months following consultation with the gaming industry.

The money will be drawn from funding allocated in the May budget for the National Cultural Policy.

Game Developers' Association of Australia CEO Tony Reed said the fund was "fantastic news" for the gaming industry.

"The games industry has gone beyond the entertainment space with games now used in education, healthcare and training. We look forward to working with the Federal Government to create a program that supports growth and stability, secures jobs, encourages innovation and creativity, and promotes investment in Australian talent and capability globally," Mr Reed said.

Topics:  gaming simon crean



Is seat of Bundamba the ALP's safest in Queensland?

ON TRACK: Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller MP at her Goodna office.

Miller looks on track for another big win after draft redistribution

Lockyer change strengthens One Nation

DON'T WRITE HIM OFF: LNP candidate Jim McDonald will keep One Nation's Jim Savage honest in the battle for Lockyer.

But Jim McDonald is well regarded and will take up LNP fight

PROPERTY: Marburg tops state for sales growth

POPULAR: This 4 bedroom 1 bath home at Marburg sold for $312,000.

Three Ipswich suburbs listed fastest growing in state

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

WARNING: 'Sardine city' is on Ipswich's horizon

CONCERNED: The implications of the State's move to denser housing developments has Cr David Pahlke up in arms.

But Antoniolli says council can manage State's denser housing edict

Grand re-launch for new Nolan's Corner

GRAND PARTY: Wayne Kemp and Angela Love from Poison Arrow, Eliza Woodruffe from Limestone Emporium, Tess Claris from Voice Hair and Beauty and Kim Schubel from Schudio will all be at the grand launch party.

A feat worth celebrating

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!