WA government announces $2 million in pilot funding for games sector

Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman (centre) and Screenwest CEO Rikki Lea Bestall (right) with some of the WA games delegation being supported to attend Gamescom 2022 in Germany.

The Western Australian government has announced $2 million in pilot funding for the state’s digital games and interactive sector to support content development, capability development, and industry-building opportunities.

Screenwest will administer the funds, which are also designed to help businesses access the Federal Digital Games Tax Offset for eligible projects.

Further, five WA games studios — SpaceDraft, Hungry Sky, Big Bench Games, Earthlingo, and Black Labs — will attend Gamescom in Cologne, Germany via a $50,000 government grant.

They are to be joined by newly appointed Screenwest games and interactive program consultant Caitlin Lomax, who commences her role later this month, as well as representatives from Interactive Games & Association (IGEA), which has an Australian pavilion stand at the event.

Screenwest CEO Rikki Lea Bestall said the announcement would help games businesses reach the next level.

“There is enormous demand for screen content globally and this funding will assist WA’s small but vibrant digital games sector to grow and achieve national and international success,” she said.

WA Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman said the WA presence at Gamescom — held August 24-28 — would provide valuable networking opportunities and showcase WA Games studios on the international stage.

“The digital games industry is large and growing rapidly,” he said.

“This investment will enable WA games developers to support content development and access worldwide markets.

“The games and interactive technology industry can provide significant economic and cultural benefits to WA.”

Australia is the official partner country of this year’s Gamescom, with the pavilion stand also supported by Austrade, Screen Queensland, Trade and Investment Queensland, Investment New South Wales, Creative Victoria, South Australian Department for Trade and Investment, South Australian Film Corporation, Screen Tasmania and Tasmanian Department of State Growth.