Screen Queensland rolls out $1 million in local video game funding

Screen Queensland has announced a new round of funding for video game developers and projects currently operating in the state, as part of its Digital Games Incentive. Recipients include operations known as Gameloft Brisbane (The Oregon Trail), drop bytes bears (broken roads), and Proud Sloth (Grow Up: Song of the Eternal Tree), among the smallest practitioners.

The Queensland Digital Games Incentive provides a 15% rebate for studios spending at least AUD$250,000 on development costs while operating in the state.

Three additional projects, which are in various stages of development, will receive financial support from Screen Queensland’s Game Grants funding programme, which can provide up to AUD$90,000 in funding. Individual amounts for each project were not disclosed.

According to Screen Queensland’s press release, projects funded through the digital gaming incentive include:

  • protostar gamesIt’s literally just mowing the lawn: A relaxing ‘zen’ game where players guide their lawnmower through lush gardens and charming houses. Available now on iOS and Google Play.
  • Drop bear bytes – broken paths: A narrative role-playing game (RPG) set in a post-apocalyptic Australian outback. It will come to PC and Mac in 2023.
  • Gameloft Brisbane – Unannounced mobile game with a leading international publisher. Coming soon in 2023.
  • proud sloth – Unannounced game coming to PC and consoles

broken roads previously it also received assistance from Film Victoria (now VicScreen).

Projects funded through Screen Queensland’s Game Grants program include:

  • maxart Servonauts: A casual cooperative puzzle game set in the chaos of a futuristic orbital gas station. It will come to PC, Mac and Console in 2023.
  • Half Sun Studies – Unannounced rogue-lite title that combines deckbuilding and action game elements. Vertical cutting demo available in 2023.
  • chinsquid: A mischievous sci-fi puzzle adventure game, featuring unique physics and a comical narrative. Prototype development ends in early 2023.

The announcement comes as a number of Australian developers from Queensland and the rest of Australia attend Gamescom 2022 in Cologne, Germany, as part of the country’s pavilion, showcasing Australia’s work to potential publishers and investors, during the business days of the conference.

Read: Victoria’s gaming industry continues to thrive and other states should take note

Kylie Munnich, CEO of Screen Queensland, reinstated the state’s commitment to supporting independent game development in a provided statement. “Screen Queensland has supported the local independent gaming sector since 2015,” she said.

“As digital gaming in Queensland continues to thrive, the agency remains steadfast in its commitment to growing the industry and championing its practitioners, as well as attracting international companies to establish their Asia Pacific presence in the state.”

While tax rebates and offsets like the Queensland Digital Gaming Incentive and the Federal Digital Gaming Tax Offset are a boon to larger developers operating across the country, as well as international interests, initiatives like Screen Queensland’s Game Grants and VicScreen’s Victorian Production Fund are just as important in making sure that smaller-scale projects can also thrive and that the country’s game-making ecosystem is supported at all levels.

After all, we wouldn’t have world-acclaimed titles like unpacking Y cult of the lamb without them.

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