NSW is set to become the leading destination for digital game designers, creators and innovators thanks to a competitive Digital Games Development Rebate that will bolster the state’s strength across the creative industries.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said from 1 October 2021, the NSW Government will widen its current 10 per cent post, digital and visual effects (PDV) rebate to eligible digital games projects in NSW.
“This incentive will help create jobs in NSW and boost export potential in this fast-growing field which is valued at more than $250 billion globally,” Mr Ayres said.
The announcement is on top of recent Federal incentives in the sector and positions NSW at the forefront of attracting and fostering game developers.
“Our world-renowned universities and technical talent were already drawcards for the industry, and this incentive is the level-up that will make NSW the most desirable place for digital games companies to set up and export to the world,” Mr Ayres said.
“As an export-focused sector, this initiative will help NSW-based digital games developers showcase their skills and innovation to a global audience. It will also help them create more jobs as they look to take on the world in this highly competitive industry.”
Minister Ayres said that critically, the skills developed by digital games companies in NSW will also benefit other industries, including robotics, health, space and defence.
“Great game developers push technology and innovation to its limits and the skills used by these programmers, engineers and developers means they are at the forefront of innovation and the jobs of tomorrow.”
Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said that the PDV rebate had already delivered strongly to keep NSW competitive as the location of choice for the film industry.
“The NSW PDV rebate has attracted major international visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic to Sydney, bringing a pipeline of work, exposure to revolutionary work methods and creating highly skilled jobs.
“There is increasing convergence between PDV and games so it makes sense to offer the games sector this competitive opportunity, which I am confident will lead to more employment, development and commercial opportunities,” Mr Harwin said.
The incentive has the support of the peak digital games industry association, the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), with CEO Ron Curry welcoming the move.
“As a state with a rich history of encouraging innovation and a focus on technology, IGEA is excited to see NSW taking steps to be at the forefront of attracting video game development companies to NSW,” Mr Curry said.
“Video games are by far the most technology-driven of the creative industries and are leaders in innovating not just for games, but many adjacent industries.”
Managing Director Koch Media Australia Roger Clarke said that the announcement represents a significant milestone for the future of games development in NSW.
“This rebate will not only allow existing NSW-based companies to further grow their businesses, but also provide a platform for overseas studios and investors to consider NSW as a destination,” said Mr Clarke.
Co-founder and Managing Director of North Sydney-based Blowfish Studios Ben Lee said the initiative makes the state even more attractive to the digital games industry.
“Expanding the NSW PDV to include game development is a major boon for the local industry. For Blowfish it means we can employ more creatives and developers to help us build our internationally acclaimed games. We are very excited to shordtly reveal our next game to the public,” said Mr Lee.
The rebate will be managed by Screen NSW, which also manages the PDV rebate. The guidelines will be published on the Screen NSW website in September:
Investment NSW is committed to job creation and luring more international digital games companies to NSW via the NSW Government’s $250 million Jobs Plus program which is designed to support companies who want to establish and expand their footprint in NSW. Find out more at https://mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/jobs-plus-program.