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Australian Film Insider: AU Game Biz Shouldn't Get Gov't Support

An anonymous insider in Australia's film industry says that game developers in the region should stop complaining for government support and should be "left on their own to see who survives," according to media reports.
An anonymous insider in Australia's film industry says that game developers in the region should stop demanding government support equivalent to what the film industry enjoys. Speaking with technology news site ITWire, the unnamed commenter said, "The problem with the games industry in this country is that it is full of many small studios that should be left on their own to see who survives." According to the insider, with Australia's game studios left to fend for themselves, only the strongest companies would survive, creating a leaner and more robust industry. Officials with the Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA) petitioned the Federal Government of Australia in 2007, seeking a 40 percent rebate for the games industry in the country, which the government eventually denied. The GDAA claimed that the local game industry's growth has been inhibited by lack of government support. The trade association's former CEO Greg Bondar previously met Australian Government Minister for the Arts and Sport Senator George Brandis, who came out of the summit promising that a review of the organization's petition would be undertaken if the Coalition parties were returned to government. Most recently, GDAA announced that it is working more closely with UK-based The Independent Game Developers Association to encourage their respective governments to instigate tax breaks for the video game industry. The two are sharing research findings that highlight the benefits of tax breaks for games production, for both the games development industries in each country and their respective wider economies. GDAA president Tom Crago responded to the anonymous film insider's comments, "I'm a big fan of Australian films, and absolutely believe that our film industry should be supported by the Australian Government. It's important to understand, though, that without that support, the industry would not exist in anything like the form that it exists today." He continued, "To that end, it's a bit rich for the film industry to say that games should go it alone. The fact is, we have gone it alone since day one, receiving no federal support whatsoever. In spite of this, we have been able to become far more viable commercially than our friends in film. The bottom line here is that screen culture in all its forms should be treated equally."

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