Victorian Government announces new funding for local video games industry

Posted on June 19, 2017  in Video Games

The Victorian Government has announced that it will support Victorian studios to develop and release nine new games. The Government is also offering grants for local developers to exhibit their work at PAX AUS.

Victorian game studios that have been accepted into PAX Rising can apply for support to offset the cost of registration and stand hire here.

The Victorian Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced the additional funding on Friday, 16 June.

“Digital games is the largest and fastest growing entertainment sector in the world, worth some $130 billion annually,” Mr Foley said. “This latest investment will support local companies to get a slice of this market at home and abroad.”

IGEA CEO Ron Curry has welcomed the announcement, tweeting “This is great news, now let’s see how it can we can get it translated in other states.”

A new round of funding, valued at $654,000 will support titles ranging from a virtual reality game to a game to help children learn about geography.

Melbourne games start-up Inn Between Worlds received support for its time travel game Odd Gods, while Ghostbat Games received funding for Spies & Soldiers – the first game to be released by brothers Jim and Ben Batt who have been creating games together since they were children.

Two supported games, Putty Pals by Harmonious Games and Paperbark by Paper House, started out as university projects at Swinburne and RMIT, and led to their creators establishing their own studios.

Putty Pals’ is a cooperative game where players controlling putty characters work together to traverse the game’s environment. Harmonious Games Creative Director Laura Voss said earlier this year that the idea was originally inspired by “a discussion about squishy potatoes and wanting to make a game with characters that were squishy and malleable”.

“We have mechanics where players reach out and hold onto each other and swing, or use each other as trampolines,” Ms Voss said. 

“The environment is the antagonist in our game, there are no enemies, and we didn’t think enemies were necessary to create a space for co-op play, the environment can achieve that.”

Victoria: Australia’s games capitol 

While the Australian Federal Government does not currently provide funding to the industry, Victoria has emerged as Australia’s games capitol, with a variety of subsidies.

“Victoria is the only state to consistently invest in games and it’s paying off – with a thriving industry that continues to grow and attract the best talent,” Mr Foley said.  

In addition to creating digital games, Victorian game developers are currently working on projects such as training programs for workplace safety, dementia care and astronauts at NASA, as well as developing games to improve Indigenous literacy.

Grant Recipients

  • Dead Static Drive (Team Fanclub PTY LTD) – a stylised action game
  • Hyper Jam (Bit Dragon) – a multi-player arcade style action game
  • Joko’s World: Pocket Planet (Cultural Infusion) – a geography based challenge where players seek out aliens that have been lost across the globe
  • Odd Gods (Inn Between Worlds) – a time travel role-playing game
  • Paperbark (Paper House) – a games that takes players into the life of a wombat during a hot Australian bush summer
  • Putty Pals (Harmonious Games) – a quirky, colourful problem-solving game
  • Spies & Soldiers (Ghostbat Games) – a fast-paced game of strategy, power and empire building
  • Tear Through (Walk With Kings) – a game that takes players into the life of a SWAT officer
  • VR Regatta (Virtual Reality Sailing PTY LTD) – a virtual reality sailing experience that allows players of all ages to compete, train and relax on their own personal sailing experience.  

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