Australian Government instates Digital Games Tax Offset advisory board

Australian industry veterans Morgan Jaffit and Johanna Egger have been announced as the inaugural advisory board for the Digital Games Tax Offset.
The Australian Digital Games Tax Offset is now in effect

The Australian Federal Government has appointed two inaugural members to the advisory board for the country’s new Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO), which offers game developers a 30% tax rebate on local development costs that reach a threshold of AUD $500,000.

The two appointees are Johanna Egger, IGEA board member and Managing Director of digital studio Two Bulls, as well as Morgan Jaffit, currently consulting executive producer at Weta Workshop, and known for his work at Defiant Development (Hand of Fate) and Spitfire Interactive (Capes), among other studios like Relic and Irrational.

Egger and Jaffit will serve for three-year terms, providing guidance to the Government on DGTO applications.

Tony Burke, Minister for the Arts provided a statement of support in a press release:

“Australia has a proud history of game development – going back decades. We want to make sure its future is just as bright as one of the fastest-growing industries in Australia, and we need the right people involved to continue to foster its growth and development.

Johanna and Morgan have been at the centre of the gaming and digital creative industries for decades and will bring a wealth of expertise to the Board.”

First announced in 2021 by the Morrison Government, the Federal Digital Games Tax Offset was finally put into place in mid-2023 by the Albanese Government.

It joins several state-based rebates for game development, including a 15% rebate for Queensland (with a $250,000 production expenditure threshold), and a 10% rebate for New South Wales, Victoria ($500,000 threshold) and South Australia ($250,000 threshold). These programs are designed to both encourage growth in the country and attract major international development studios.

On the smaller end of the scale, grants programs like the recently introduced Games: Expansion Pack from Screen Australia, the First Nations Game Studio Fund, and several state-based initiatives continue to support solo and independent small-team game development.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran