The State Government of Victoria, Australia has once again injected a significant amount of funds into the local games industry, with AU $3.6 million of state funding set to go towards the establishment of a ‘specialist digital games and VFX school’ in the region.
The funding is part of a larger AU $5.4 million package designed to provide Victoria’s screen industry with skills and training programs, encompassing film and television, as well as games.
While the announcement of funding is the first step, the actual development of the programs and potential facilities is yet to begin. The press release calls for expressions of interest from education providers to develop and run the training.
Given the inclusion of both game development training, as well as VFX, we can speculate there will likely be a focus on 2D and 3D art disciplines, using tools like Unreal, which can be applied in roles across all screen industries.
‘We know that growing Victoria’s pool of talent is key to the continued success of our local screen industry,’ said Caroline Pitcher, CEO of state creative agency VicScreen. ‘These programs will build our skilled workforce across all fields – from technical to creative, crew to corporate.’
Victoria is already home to some of Australia’s most notable commercial and artistic successes in video games. Games such as Cult of the Lamb, Untitled Goose Game, Heavenly Bodies, Wayward Strand, and several others have made significant impacts in the global market in recent years.
The hotbed of quality coming from the state can be clearly attributed to the State Government’s willingness to fund and support game development and practice at all scales – from small and solo independent creators to larger, multinational studios.
The news of the skills and training fund follows an AU $5.25 million boost in funding for games events and industry workspaces in the state. Melbourne International Games Week – which encompasses Games Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP), the Australian Game Developer Awards (AGDAs), Games for Change Asia Pacific, High Score, and Freeplay: Parallels, among other events – will see an expansion as a result. Around AU $750,000 of this newly-pledged fund will also go to new, original game ideas in the Originate Games program.
We look forward to seeing the eventual fruits of the new funding.