Screen Queensland launches new grants program for games sector

Witch Beam's Tim Dawson and Wren Brier accepting BAFTA Games Award for 'Unpacking'. (Image: Hannah Taylor courtesy of BAFTA)

Queensland-based games developers will now be able to access up to $90,000 in funding for their projects as part of the state government’s new Games Grants program.

Administered through Screen Queensland, the grants provide non-recoupable funding for different stages of development: prototype, vertical slice/early access, and full games release. Support is capped at $20,000, $50,000, and $90,000 for each phase, respectively.

It comes after Screen Queensland’s Digital Games Incentive came into effect this year, offering a 15 per cent rebate for eligible games that spend a minimum of $250,000 in the state.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said the Game Grants Program would replace the existing games funding available via the Screen Finance Program, which offered a maximum of $50,000 for games developers.

“Our new Game Grants Program is the next step to expanding the local games sector, with a deeper, more customised approach to supporting homegrown, diverse talent,” she said.

“The seed funding adopts a tiered financial model to support Queensland practitioners at varying stages of their career – from emerging to established – as well as game projects at different phases of development.

“We are proud to support Queensland’s growing games sector with this new funding stream, and continue our commitment to talent by providing access to funding, major markets and conferences, and skills development opportunities.”

Games that have received support from Screen Queensland include Witch Beam’s BAFTA-award winning Unpacking, Team WIBY’s Phantom Abyss, and Screwtape Studio’s Damsel.

The local sector was also given a boost late last year with the announcement that Playside Studios would be opening a studio on the Gold Coast.

Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) CEO Ron Curry commended Screen Queensland for its increased commitment to the state’s games development industry.

“Screen Queensland has consulted, listened, and actioned impressive funding levers for the games industry,” he said.

“We are confident that Queensland will see continued growth and employment in this sector, and expand on the excellent results and reputation achieved across the world from games that have been created locally.” 

The Screen Queensland Game Grants Program is now open to applications from both emerging and established game developers that have at least 75 per cent of their development team based in Queensland. Find out more information on how to apply here.