Victorian Government announces $15 million Digital Screen Rebate

From left are Princess Bento managing director Emma Fitzsimons, Creative Industries Minister Steve Dimopoulos, VicScreen CEO Caroline Pitcher, Keywords Studios head of operations Tom Davies, Hipster Whale's Clara Reeves.

The Victorian Government has added a $15 million Digital Screen Rebate to its suite of incentives, with grants available to post-production, animation, digital games, and VFX projects that are undertaken within the state with local workers.

Applications are now open for the rebate, to be administered by VicScreen, which includes up to ten per cent of qualifying expenditure for international projects and investment, while Victorian-owned companies will be eligible to apply for 15 per cent. In order to qualify, projects must spend a minimum of $500,000 in the state.

The announcement comes after the Federal Government’s Digital Games Tax Offset passed through parliament in June, providing projects with budgets over $500,000 with a 30 per cent tax incentive. It also complements the national Post, Digital and Visual Effects Offset, which offers a 30 per cent rebate.

VicScreen CEO Caroline Pitcher said the Digital Screen Rebate would support more locally-based studios to develop and attract digital screen projects, stimulating Victorian creativity, innovation, and capability, as well as delivering job and career opportunities.

“Victoria is the go-to destination for digital games, VFX, animation and post-production, with many of the country’s leading digital screen businesses operating in Melbourne,” she said.

Liam Esler, co-founder and managing director of Summerfall Studios, described the rebate as a “game changer”.

“Victoria is already the best place to make games in Australia and the Victorian Digital Screen Rebate will have a huge impact on businesses like ours, giving studios more resources to create world-class projects,” he said.

“The rebate will mean local studios can kickstart their ambitions with a strong foundation of growth and encourage more to set up here.”

Interactive Games and Entertainment Association CEO Ron Curry also commended the Victorian Government for its support of the state’s games sector, describing the rebate as the “missing ingredient”.

“Through the work of the Creative Industries Minister Steve Dimopoulos and the team at VicScreen, led by Caroline Pitcher, Victoria has seriously upped the game on attracting new businesses to the state, creating an environment for existing and new businesses to thrive and succeed,” he said.

Find out more about how to apply for the Digital Screen Rebate here.