Digital Games Incentive
The Screen Queensland Digital Games Incentive aims to attract game development projects to Queensland and encourage further growth in the local sector.
This incentive is designed to support local developers, as well as international game companies looking to establish a new studio in Queensland to expand their business.
This is a rolling fund. Apply at any time.
The Screen Queensland Digital Games Incentive (Incentive) aims to attract game development projects to Queensland and support further investment and growth in existing local game developers and studios.
The objectives of the Incentive are to:
- increase game publisher engagement with independent Queensland game developers;
- incentivise game companies interested in establishing or growing a presence in Queensland;
- create employment and skill development opportunities for Queensland game; and
- to equitably support the games industry in Queensland by providing incentives to as large a number of games entities as possible.
Applicants with projects that are eligible for the Incentive may also be eligible for funding through other Screen Queensland programs.
The Incentive is calculated at up to fifteen percent (15%) of qualifying QGDE and may be subject to a cap.
The final Incentive amount will be at the absolute discretion of Screen Queensland and is subject to factors including the availability of funding at the time of application, the total funding available for the Incentive and the total number of qualifying applicants.
The Incentive will be administered with the objective of equitably supporting the games industry in Queensland and providing incentives to as large a number of games entities as possible.
The Incentive is available to game developers, publishers and studios with game projects that:
- are spending a minimum of AU$250,000 on qualifying Queensland Game Development Expenditure (QGDE);
- have a development team made up of Genuine Queensland Residents. Screen Queensland defines this as a person or company who has been resident in Queensland for at least 2 months.
The following game formats are eligible to receive the Incentive:
- entertainment games;
- premium and free-to-play games;
- live-ops development;
- games for mobile phones, PC/Mac, Consoles, VR/AR; and
- games intended for public release.
The following are ineligible to receive the Incentive:
- games that are not completely digital (boardgames or hybrid digital/physical games);
- gambling games;
- games that are, in Screen Queensland’s opinion, likely to be refused classification under the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995;
- games designed to, in Screen Queensland’ opinion, predominantly or substantially market, promote or advertise a product or service;
- games designed primarily for educational or training purposes.
Only one company may apply for the Incentive per game.
What qualifies as Queensland Game Development Expenditure (QGDE)?
Qualifying spend may occur over a period of two (2) years maximum. Multiple games cannot be bundled to reach the minimum $250,000 spend, however, multiple updates of the same game can be bundled.
If a studio has two separate games in development, they may apply for individual incentives for each game.
Applicants with games that are still in development after reaching the two (2) year maximum period may reapply for the incentive.
Qualifying QGDE is based on game development costs incurred in Queensland, including:
- wage-related costs for full-time, part-time and contractor developers working directly on the project - these developers must be genuine Queensland residents;
- wages paid to marketing coordination, quality assurance, localisation and other game support staff working on the project; and
- other general overheads, however, this should not exceed 5% of the total QGDE and must be spent in Queensland.
Expenditure that is explicitly excluded:
- payments to staff living outside Queensland;
- expenditure occurring prior to the application submission date;
- marketing expenses paid to advertising networks; and
- expenditure funded from other Screen Queensland programs such as Screen Finance (Games) and the Screen Queensland Game Grants.
Applications for the Screen Queensland Digital Games Incentive are assessed against the following criteria:
- Economic Benefits: Will the project deliver economic benefits to Queensland in the form of:
- inward investment of qualifying QGDE expenditure; and
- onward economic benefits.
- Industry Benefits: Will the project deliver industry benefits to Queensland in the form of:
- new employment opportunities for game practitioners;
- the growth of game studios;
- attracting and/or retaining talent to Queensland; and
- training and skills development of emerging game developers.
Meeting these criteria is beneficial, however, your application is not disqualified if it does not meet all of the above.
Screen Queensland reserves the right to consider any other relevant information, and amend application criteria, in its absolute discretion
Applications must be made online through Screen Queensland’s SmartyGrants system. The form is available to preview prior to starting your application.
During the application process you will be required to provide:
- business and development information including project title, project synopsis, and development milestones;
- information about the project’s scope and expenditure;
- names of senior/key personnel;
- estimated employment details;
- qualifying QGDE budget;
- information pertaining to applications for Federal incentives, other state screen agency incentives and other Screen Queensland funding programs in relation to the project;
- economic benefit statement; and
- industry benefit statement.
Within 30 minutes of submitting your application an automated application email will be sent confirming that Screen Queensland has received your application.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact Screen Queensland if you do not receive an application receipt email.
Please allow for system downtime or internet service provider problems when completing your application and save the application regularly.
Applications for the Incentive can be submitted at any time.
Applicants will be notified as soon as possible following a decision. Successful applicants will receive a conditional letter of offer with the Incentive amount.
Applicants who accept the Incentive will then enter into a formal agreement with Screen Queensland that outlines delivery, reporting and acquittal requirements as well as other important legal terms and conditions. You should seek legal and commercial advice on this document.
Incentives will be paid over the course of the project according to drawdown milestones agreed in the contract.
If an application is unsuccessful, a member of the Content team will contact the applicant. Applicants can contact Screen Queensland for feedback on the application.
The contract with Screen Queensland will set out the terms and conditions of the Incentive, including the following requirements:
- minimum QDGE;
- marketing and other delivery materials required to be provided; and
- Screen Queensland credit requirements.
The Incentive application, contract and any Incentive approved by Screen Queensland are commercial-in-confidence, and the applicant must maintain strict confidentiality of the information and only use the information for the purposes of complying with its obligations under the Incentive terms and conditions and contract.
Successful applicants will be expected to assist Screen Queensland and the Queensland Government in relation to publicity and media opportunities prior to, during and after the development life cycle of the incentivised game project in Queensland. Details of these arrangements will be included in the contract.
Successful funding applicants must provide detailed reporting and acquittal information on the activities undertaken. These deliverables will be negotiated between the successful applicant and Screen Queensland at the time of contracting.
If during development a project’s QGDE drops below the $250,000 threshold, payments will cease. If this occurs, you must inform Screen Queensland within 14 days.
Submission of an application constitutes acceptance of these Guidelines and the application terms and conditions.
Applicants must notify Screen Queensland in writing if they have an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest in applying for the Incentive and, if so, the manner in which they propose to deal with the conflict.
The applicant retains all intellectual property rights in its submission. The applicant grants an irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty and fee free licence to the Screen Queensland to use, adapt and modify its intellectual property rights in its submission for the purposes of Screen Queensland analysing and evaluating the applicant’s submission.
Screen Queensland’s liability in relation to the application process is limited to $1.
Screen Queensland reserves the right to change any element of the Incentive, these Guidelines or the application process at any time and in its absolute discretion.
Who can apply?
The incentive is open to companies with an ABN paying Bona Fide Queensland game developers to work on a game. The amount spent must pass a minimum threshold of $250,000 AUD.
How much can I get?
The incentive is 15% of eligible Queensland Game Development Expenditure (QGDE). The incentive is uncapped; however, the final amount is at the discretion of Screen Queensland and subject to the availability of funding.
What is eligible spend?
Eligible spend is primarily wages and payments made to Bona Fide Queensland game developers working on the game. Refer to guidelines for a full list of eligible expenditure.
When to apply?
This is a rolling fund, so apply at any time. Eligible spend cannot include expenditure made prior to the application date.
What type of game projects can apply?
The incentive can apply to any period of game development.