Update: At 12.30pm today, the IGEA was advised that the Senate had amended part of the bill (unrelated to the DGTO), so the bill will need to go back to the lower house before it is passed by parliament.
The Albanese government has today finalised the passing of legislation to introduce the Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO), representing a huge milestone for Aussie game development that’s been years in the making.
The DGTO will see a 30% tax incentive applied to game development projects over $500,000 within Australia, which will hopefully lead to greater local and international support for the industry in Australia and more studios and projects being established here. This is in addition to other recent injections of funding into the local scene like the $12 million increase in investment via Screen Australia to support digital games developers and small-to-medium games studios.
The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) has said that recent surveys show an increase of 26% in revenue generated by Australian developers year-on-year as well as a growth in full time employment in the sector of a huge 59%. The DGTO will take effect retroactively from the start of FY July 1st, 2022.
Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA, said in an accompanying statement, “Today is a momentous occasion for Australian games creators, who have an extraordinary reputation internationally. These developers can now confidently proceed, expand and scale their businesses to deliver in-demand game content to a global audience and are well positioned to drive the knowledge economy.
“Recognition and support for our sector has been a long time coming and we cannot express how grateful we are to the Albanese Labor government for pushing the DGTO legislation through, to the Opposition for their bipartisan support for a policy proposal that had its genesis under the previous government, and to the Senate for passing it today.
“We are grateful for all the champions on both sides of the Parliament who have led the way for game development becoming an integral part of the broader Australian screen and creative industries, including the Senators who spoke in support of the DGTO yesterday.
“Making games has the ability to engage artists and technical specialists across the industry. We are excited for the career opportunities that growth in game development will bring to Australian creators.”