Australian government pledges $20 million to assist local games industry

The Australian government is pledging $20 million over the next three years to support the country's game development industry, the Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean announced today.

Speaking at the Screen Producers Association of Australia National Conference in Melbourne, the Minister said the pledge comes as part of a newly formed Australian Interactive Games Fund that will help the local industry grow at a time when it is facing increased pressure in the midst of a changing market.

The $20 million pledge will be distributed over three years, with $5 million delivered per annum in 2012 and 2013, and $10 million being delivered in 2014 and 2015.

Crean said in a statement that "this is a substantial investment to foster this growing sector where artists, musicians, writers, performers and software developers collaborate to meet the local and global demand for interactive entertainment and education."

The government has appointed Screen Australia to draw up the fund's guidelines in collaboration with local game developers. It is currently not known how the funds will be administered or who will be eligible.

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