Screen Australia announces $4 million support for 31 games

The Games: Expansion Pack fund has been extended by AU $1 million due to the quality of applicants.
games expansion pack fund

Screen Australia and Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for the Arts, have announced a whopping $4 million worth of support for 31 unique Australian video game projects, as part of the previously announced Games: Expansion Pack fund. While originally announced as a $3 million investment, the fund has now been extended due to the ‘incredibly quality and depth of the applications’.

Each of the games selected – which hail from the action, adventure, puzzle, arcade and roleplay genres – will receive a portion of these funds, based on studio needs and game scale.

‘We were blown away by the number of outstanding applications which have demonstrated the wealth of talented creatives and original ideas that are coming out of the Australian games sector,’ Lee Naimo, Screen Australia’s Head of Online said in a press release.

‘These games are artistic, educational, inspiring and fun projects, and we’re pleased to have been able to support even more projects than we anticipated. It’s fantastic to have such a wide mix from all around the country.’

Burke reiterated the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting the digital games sector, and to help it ‘create, innovate and flourish to achieve its full potential.’

The Games: Expansion Pack funding has been given to the following projects, from a range of small to medium indie game development studios:

  • Servonauts, Maxart (QLD) – a multiplayer game where you’re an astronaut on an intergalactic petrol station, managing pipes to provide fuel, air and snacks to customers
  • Totem Teller, Grinning Pickle (VIC) – a philosophical ‘glitch art’ game that asks players to reflect on the past, and on history through folktales, poetry, and dialogue
  • The Dungeon Experience, Bone Assembly (VIC) – a surrealist adventure through a dungeon populated by odd creatures, from the creators of Paradigm and Ring of Pain
  • Future Folklore, Guck (VIC) – a crafting game inspired by an Indigenous lens that teaches players to restore the bush and care for Country
  • Earthlingo, Raymond Corrigan and Zilin Su (WA) – a language-learning role-playing game where players battle evil robots to save Earth
  • Bits & Bops, Tempo Lab Games (NSW) – a rhythm mini-game collection with catchy beats and hand-drawn animation
  • Fox and Shadow, Paper Cactus Games (SA) – a deck-builder set in a retro-futuristic world ruled by an AI, where humans are forced to live underground
  • Leonardo’s Moon Ship, Secret Lab (TAS) – a narrative adventure game set in Renaissance-era Florence, and starring Leonardo Da Vinci

Other games funded include: Bosswords (PlayReactive), Enchantress (Cactus Jam Games), Moonlight In Garland (Winters Group Estate), A Halloween Valentine (Things for Humans), Azoic (Tumbleweed Games), Bonza Phrases (Minimega), Dros (Emergeworlds), Enter The Chronosphere (Effort Star), Gubbins (Studio Folly), Hotel Magnate (Arcade Oven), Legend of Valley (Shark Jump), Macabre (Weforge Studio), Matchmaker: Dungeon Heart (Ghost Moth), Moon Corp Tower Defense (Kite Shield Interactive), Planetation (2Bit Studios), Project Feline (Fischer-Cripps Laboratories), Schrodinger’s Cat Burglar (Abandoned Sheep), Starwisp Hyperdrive (Ghost Cat Games), The Indigo Initiative (Caustic Reality), The Master’s Pupil (Pat Naoum Games), Timesavers (Monomyth Games), Untitled (Wombat Brawler), and Untitled (Exbleative).

‘By assisting early career developers, products and studios through Games: Expansion Pack, the Albanese Government is set to facilitate support across the entire game development ecosystem,’ IGEA’s Ron Curry said of the decision.

‘This will result in growth in employment, promotion of digital and screen skills development, plus increased revenue for the highly talented and reputable Australian game development industry.’

Funding will reopen for a new round of applications on September 2022.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.