Victoria invests over half a million in local videogames

Film Victoria have announced $550k in funding across ten Victorian games through their Assigned Production Investment - Games program.

Film Victoria has assigned $550,000 in funding through its Assigned Production Investment – Games program, to support ten new games by different teams across the state. On top of this major investment, they have announced a new industry internship program, for which applications are open now.

In a statement on the latest funding and the new internship program, Victorian Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson expressed his pride in the success of Victoria’s game development community. He said, ‘We’re proud to back our local games studios, businesses and talent to take advantage of the breadth of Victorian expertise in the sector.’

He reiterated the Victorian Government’s commitment to supporting videogames as an industry – support that is notably lacking in many states and territories, as game developers in New South Wales, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory have no access to state funding. 

READ: Most anticipated Australian games of 2021

The ten games funded in the latest API- Games funding round are: 

  • Site Unseen, an extra-perceptual exploratory puzzler by Alexander Muscat, that will expand on his previous award-nominated game WORLD4
  • Little Ruin by Lucernal, which will see the Melbourne architectural visualisation studio use the team’s architectural animation and 3D modelling experience to develop their first game. Little Ruin will be a narrative-driven isometric adventure. 
  • Australian-based post-apocalyptic survival game Broken Roads by Drop Bear Bytes
  • Eternal Ones by Steel Sky Productions, the production company previously responsible for Warhammer Underworlds: Online
  • Indigenous fantasy couch co-op Innchanted, by Dragonbear Studios
  • Ecological disaster adventure game OvO: Planet Engineer­ by Two Moos
  • Trash by 15 Minutes of Game
  • An unannounced word game by Darcy Smith & Jessica Shipard
  • An unannounced project by mobile development studio Guck 
  • Ghost Pattern’s peaceful narrative adventure game Wayward Strand also received funding that is expected to see the project through to release. 

 According to the website, Film Victoria’s funding body has temporarily raised the total funding cap from $150,000 to $300,000 for this program, as well as removed the $550 application fee. Game makers can also apply in three distinct funding strands for prototype, vertical slice and production.

Victorian games developers and studios can also now apply for funding at any time, with decisions made every 4-8 weeks.

The new internship will allow an emerging Victorian game maker to undertake a 12-month paid placement working with Film Victoria, as well as globally successful Melbourne game studios League of Geeks, who are responsible for Armello and an unannounced title, and Samurai Punk, who created Feather, Roombo: First Blood and Justice Sucks: Recharged. 

Applications for the Games Development Internship close on 25 March 2021.
More information on the program and Film Victoria’s support for games is available on their website. 

Jini Maxwell is a writer and curator who lives in Naarm. They are an assistant curator at ACMI, where they also host the Women & Non-binary gamers club. They write about videogames and the people who make them. You can find them on Twitter @astroblob