NSW broadens PDV rebate to include games

NSW has announced it is broadening its PDV rebate to include game development.

New South Wales has joined South Australia in widening its 10 per cent post, digital and visual effects (PDV) rebate to include game development.

From October 1, eligible digital games projects that spend a minimum of $500,000 in the state will be able to claim the incentive, which is administered by Screen NSW.

It comes after the Federal Government announced a 30 per cent Digital Games Tax Offset as part of May’s Budget.

The government previously terminated the Australian Interactive Games Fund as part of its funding cuts to Screen Australia in the 2014 Budget.

The widespread growth of the industry in the time since led the South Australian government to extend its PDV rebate to cover game development in June 2020. Other state agencies such as Film Victoria and Screen Queensland have offered games-specific production funding for several years.

NSW Jobs, Investment, Tourism, and Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres said Monday’s announcement would help create jobs in NSW and boost export potential in what is a $250 billion global industry.

 “Our world-renowned universities and technical talent were already drawcards for the industry, and this incentive is the level-up that will make NSW the most desirable place for digital games companies to set up and export to the world,” he said.

“As an export-focused sector, this initiative will help NSW-based digital games developers showcase their skills and innovation to a global audience. It will also help them create more jobs as they look to take on the world in this highly competitive industry.”

Earlier this year, Interactive Games & Entertainment Association CEO Ron Curry penned an open letter to NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin, in which he called for game development to be eligible under the PDV rebate, which supported an “adjacent” sector that shared the same “digital technology, workforce and export-focus”.

In welcoming yesterday’s announcement, Curry said video games were “by far the most technology-driven of the creative industries” and were “leaders in innovating not just for games, but many adjacent industries”.

“As a state with a rich history of encouraging innovation and a focus on technology, IGEA is excited to see NSW taking steps to be at the forefront of attracting video game development companies to NSW,” he said.

Co-founder and managing director of North Sydney-based IGEA member Blowfish Studios Ben Lee said the initiative made the state even more attractive to the digital games industry.

“Expanding the NSW PDV to include game development is a major boon for the local industry,” he said.

“For Blowfish, it means we can employ more creatives and developers to help us build our internationally acclaimed games.

“We are very excited to shortly reveal our next game to the public.”

The full eligibility guidelines for game developers will be available shortly. Find out more information about the PDV offset here.