Screen Queensland launches games residency

'Capes', by Spitfire Interactive.

Screen Queensland is set to launch a residency program for early-career games developers, designed to support skills development and growth across the local sector.

The Screen Queensland Games Residency is the first of its kind in Australia, offering 10 games developers — individuals or teams of up to three — access to a 12-month program including a dedicated co-working space, access to industry experts, business mentoring and income support through self-employment allowance.

Created in collaboration with Workforce Australia Self-Employment Assistance provider, Birdifi Bridge, the residency will be hosted in Screen Queensland’s studio space SQhub – located adjacent to the screen agency’s head office in Teneriffe, Brisbane.

Screen Queensland chief creative officer Dr Belinda Burns said the residency program offered a unique opportunity for Queensland developers and highlighted the agency’s commitment to the local games sector.

“Screen Queensland is the first screen agency to collaborate with a Self-Employment Assistance provider to support start-ups in the sector, and we are proud that Queensland talent will be the first to experience such a career-changing opportunity,” she said.

“As the digital games industry in Queensland continues to flourish, we remain strong in our commitment to championing local talent and securing the best possible pathways for professional development and employment.

“We look forward to receiving applications from early-career games developers looking for their next creative challenge.”

Successful candidates will be granted self-employment allowance payments for up to 39 weeks and rental assistance for up to 26 weeks. Games developers based in regional areas will be eligible for up to $1,000 additional funding to support travel and relocation expenses.

Participants must work from the SQhub at least 60 per cent of the week, for the entire residency duration, and commit to the self-employment assistance program and small business coaching delivered by Birdifi Bridge, including development of a business plan.

Screen Queensland offers a digital games incentive, providing a 15 per cent rebate for games that spend a minimum of $250,000 in the state. It also offers paid placements, training opportunities and tiered funding through games grants, providing Queensland-based games developers up to $90,000.

The Screen Queensland Games Residency is now open to applications, closing 30 November 2022. Program onboarding will commence in December.