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Australia’s thriving SME gaming industry is set to grow further in 2024

Results released today show that revenue in the Australian video game industry has risen to $345.5 million, an increase of 21% over the past financial year. The results are part of the eighth annual Australian Game Developer Survey (AGDS), released by peak industry body, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA). The survey results are backed up by Australian consumer sales data released earlier this year, showing that Australians’ love for video games is reflected in the local industry.

51% of the 111 studios surveyed intend to utilise the Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) pending their eligibility, while 49% are already accessing some form of government funding. Many local studios will be looking to secure further funding made possible through government programs, such as the reinstated Australian Interactive Games Fund (AIGF) from Screen Australia, and boosts in games funding from Victoria and Queensland. As a direct result of federal and state-based government support, Australian studios are committing to the development of more projects, receiving increased interest from international businesses, and are predicting either income growth (68% of respondents) or income stability (21% of respondents) throughout the 2024 financial year.

“79% of studios have less than 20 employees, and nearly half of all studios (45%) have existed for less than five years, highlighting growth in independent and emerging businesses,” said Ron Curry, CEO of IGEA. “With continued government support to ensure success in our industry, we will likely see our younger studios turn into veterans – like the 32% of Australian studios that are 10 years or older today. We even have 63% of studios planning on hiring over this financial year, creating 200+ new jobs.”

“It is important to acknowledge that this is a challenging time for the industry and some studios are really feeling the effects. Funding and support must continue to ensure the long-term growth and success of the Australian industry so we can maintain the positive trajectory and continue contributing to the Australian economy and talent development.” Curry added.

The survey also revealed that Australian studios face ongoing challenges such as securing early-stage development funding, securing international publisher deals, and hiring specialised talent when local talent is hard to come by. To combat some of these issues, many studios have taken to working and hiring remotely to lower costs and unlock the potential of hiring interstate or international talent.

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Despite the challenges, diversity in local studios is increasing with 26% of developers identifying as women and 5% identifying as trans, non-binary, or gender diverse.

“Our incredible local studios continue to perform on the global stage – 87% of our video game revenue comes from outside Australia into the local economy and 19% of our game developers who responded are receiving investment from overseas businesses. There is always potential for our local industry to grow sustainably, and thanks to the survey’s respondents we can now target the issues affecting local studios with renewed certainty and clarity.” said Curry.

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