Screen Australia on Wednesday halted its funding for the games industry, as the extent of federal government financial cutbacks at became clearer.
The national film and TV support body said that it expects to see A$38 million (US$35.6 million) axed from its budget over the next four years.
That figure comprises a A$25 million (US$23.4 million) reduction in allocations from central government; a A$10 million ($9.4 million) reduction in the games initiative in 2014-15 coming from the scheme being ended one year earlier than expected; and A$2.5 million (US$2.34 million) coming from the ending of the four year interactive multi-platform initiative.
“Screen Australia like other Government organisations has been required to contribute to balancing the Federal Budget. We will undertake a comprehensive review of all programs and how they are delivered,” said CEO, Graeme Mason. “We will maintain our commitment to working efficiently in order to minimise the impact on the Australian screen sector. We will focus on our core business to support culture, innovation and quality on Australian screens.”
Screen Australia was given charge of interactive games industry funding in 2012.
“Further to yesterday’s Federal Budget announcement, which discontinued the Australian Interactive Games Fund, Screen Australia has announced that, effective immediately, it will not accept any further applications for games funding…. There will be no second funding round held for the Games Enterprise program,” the organisation said in a statement.
Game projects and developer studios that have already been approved for funding will continue to receive pre-allocated funding and administrative support as normal.