Screen Queensland announces major Game Grants Program

Screen Queensland has announced a major new grants fund for local video game developers.
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Screen Queensland has announced another major boost to Queensland’s local video games industry in the form of a newly established Game Grants Program, designed to provide financial support to developers working in the region. The new program will support projects of all scales with up to AU $90,000 worth of funding.

It follows the state’s recent implementation of a 15% tax rebate for developers with a minimum spend of $250,000, and should effectively cover the smaller indie developers who aren’t able to reap these established benefits.

‘Our new Game Grants Program is the next step to expanding the local games sector, with a deeper, more
customised approach to supporting homegrown, diverse talent,’ Kylie Munnich, Screen Queensland CEO said in a press release. ‘The seed funding adopts a tiered financial model to support Queensland practitioners at varying stages of their career – from emerging to established – as well as game projects at different phases of development.’

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‘We are proud to support Queensland’s growing games sector with this new funding stream, and continue our commitment to talent by providing access to funding, major markets and conferences, and skills development opportunities.’

The funding is split into three seperate categories, based on project types.

  • Prototype funding is capped at $20,000 and requires a functional outline that illustrates core gameplay and the ‘key differentiators’ of the game – according to Screen Queensland, applicants should make sure they’ve ‘found the fun’ in the game and that they have a clear idea of what they want it to become.
  • Vertical slice or early access funding is capped at $50,000. Developers applying for this funding should have gameplay in a relatively polished state where players can experience a solid representation of what it will become. This tier includes Kickstarter campaigns and Steam early access launches.
  • Full game release funding is capped at $90,000, and relates directly to a fully launched 1.0 version of a game.

The Screen Queensland Game Grants Program will provide non-recoupable funding for projects in these phases, with established and emerging developers encouraged to apply via the Screen Queensland website.

‘Screen Queensland have consulted, listened and actioned impressive funding levers for the games industry,’ Ron Curry, CEO of industry body IGEA said. ‘We are confident that Queensland will see continued growth and employment in this sector, and expand on the excellent results and reputation achieved across the world from games that have been created locally.’

The establishment of the Game Grants Program should provide ample opportunity for local developers of all experience levels to gain financial support as they work to realise the future of their projects. This funding represents much-needed support for indie game developers working in Queensland, and will go towards buoying the creativity and scope of the local games sector.

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.