Produce internationally successful games that get noticed - with Melbourne's brightest talent
Melbourne is Australia’s top digital games location and the perfect city in which to develop games with global commercial appeal. With a high concentration of creative and technical talent, Melbourne's local gaming ecosystem is a hotbed of opportunity.
Emerging as a vibrant digital games hub in the 1990s, Melbourne has since become a global industry player with a size that fuels growth. It is home to 170 digital games studios, more than half of Australia’s total studios . Australia’s strong global connections allow these companies to benefit from soaring global demand - with 87% of revenue generated from overseas sales.1 Growth is being accelerated by international studios that are acquiring and expanding Melbourne’s world-class offering, and optimal production conditions, such as competitive salary costs and the ability to leverage a follow the sun development cycle.
Companies located in Melbourne can benefit from the Australian Government’s new Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) to support games development. The DGTO provides a 30% refundable tax offset for eligible businesses up to A$20 million per annum per studio. The DGTO can be used in conjunction with a range of Victorian Government initiatives and funding to support games development.
Join renowned names such as EA, Sledgehammer, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Disney, Warner Bros and ID@Xbox (Microsoft), Team 17 and Private Division who have partnered with local studios to develop and launch successful global games ventures.
- IGEA - Australian Game Development Survey 2021
Opportunities for global games created by world-leading developers
Victoria’s gaming development sector accounts for 57% of Australia’s gaming workforce,1 with the accessible development studios and creative talent that global companies need to create games that make significant returns. Find out more about opportunities to:
Tap into creative development of new applications
- Access cutting-edge technologies and skills. From 3D modelling to interactive motion tracking, animation, special effects and storytelling, Victoria’s skilled gaming sector is well equipped to create ‘stand-apart’ gaming experiences
- Invest in new industry gaming applications. Melbourne’s gaming industry is servicing a growing national demand for gamification in edtech and training tools for industries such as education, health and medicine
Partnership and development acquisition
- Develop publishing partnerships. Victorian studios have delivered best-selling games and award-winning animations through joint creation and middleware licensed to games development studios.
- Developer acquisition. Over the past 10 years a number of international studios have acquired Melbourne games developers to expanded organically, or funded games development.
Build cost effective 'follow-the-sun' development cycles
- Create an international workflow across a 24 hour cycle. Drive your games development through a thriving games sector expertise and talent that is between European and American time zones, permitting a 24/7 development cycle that taps into world-class expertise
1. IGEA - Australian Game Development Survey 2021
Case studies: Digital games
Why bring your games investment to Victoria?
Concentration of talent built on deep creative and technical skills
Melbourne’s productive tradition of collaboration between highly talented developers, writers and artists now consistently produces award-winning games in an industry that outstrips film box office, DVD and music sales.
With strong capabilities in programming, analytics and creative thinking, as well as extensive experience earned in international gaming industries across the United States and Europe, Melbourne’s robust gaming sector is further bolstered by a pipeline of upcoming talent.
- access to the right talent, with more experienced and qualified game designers than anywhere else in Australia, growing at a faster rate (10%) than other jurisdictions including Montreal (Quebec), Singapore and Hong Kong2
- a thriving creative arts community that includes Film Victoria and film production facilities, providing rich sources of talent for video game production
- a ‘follow the sun’ production model, situated conveniently between European and American time zones allowing for 24-hour development
- five specialist game design institutes including the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, JMC Academy, Academy of Information Technology, SAE Institute Melbourne and CG Spectrum
- nine other institutes offer game design accreditation, while up to 12 other institutions provide a broad range of digital skills, including 3D artists, programmers, animators, composers, sound designers and more
- industry engaged writing such as the Australian Writers Guild (AWG) which welcomes video game writers and has forged strong ties with the development community
- culturally aware and multilingual professionals, specialising in Asian and European languages
Join Australia’s top game development location
Melbourne’s thriving games hub is home to:
- 170 gaming production studios and home to international phenomena Mountains Studio, League of Geeks and Fellow Traveller
- the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, a well-connected peak body made up of members from Ubisoft, Sony, Activision, Electronic Arts, Xbox and Nintendo
- services such as FMOD by Firelight Studios and Mighty Build and Test by Keywords Studios
- Fortress Melbourne, a huge games entertainment venue and Austrlalia's first dedicated eSports arena, covering over 2700 m2
- renowned international gaming events such as
- Melbourne International Games Week - attracts more than 80,000 gamers and developers each year
- Game Connect Asia Pacific - leading game development conference
- PAX Australia – Australia’s largest dedicated gaming festival which attracts tens of thousands of gaming fans
- a growing number of eSports events that have positioned Melbourne as the eSports hub of Australia, where the Melbourne eSports Open is held
Tap into unmatched government support
The Victorian Government through VicScreen has supported digital games for over 25 years. Through Creative Victoria and VicScreen, Victoria’s creative and economic screen development agency, developers and studios can access investment and incentives as part of the Victorian Government’s A$191.5 million four-year screen strategy.
- VicScreen’s suite of digital games funding supports projects, businesses and talent to grow their capability and capacity, secure investment, and build sustainable and globally competitive businesses:
- Victorian Digital Screen Rebate grants of up to 10% of eligible Victorian spend on projects that expenditure at least A$500,000 on game development in Victoria
- Victorian Production Fund investment of up to A$300,000 per stage and up to A$500,000 for Victorian games companies and developers to develop and release high-quality, diverse and engaging original games
- Originate Games provides funding of up to A$30,000 toto support new ideas and new voices to develop early stage and innovative concepts
Federal tax incentives are also available to games developers in Victoria and can be used in conjunction with the above programs:
- A 30% tax offset on qualifying expenditure for Australian-based games development
- A generous 38.5 per cent to 43.5 per cent research and development tax refund that can apply to game development
Download our digital games value proposition
Expand your studio internationally with Victoria's digital games strategy webinars
Session hosted by Sharmaine Ramasamy (USA)
Session hosted by Tim Dillion (UK & Europe)
Session hosted by Brett Stevens part 1: Opening and presentation (English with Chinese translations)
Session hosted by Brett Stevens part 2: Q&A and panel discussion (English with Chinese translations)
Incentives to set up your digital games studio in Melbourne
State Government of Victoria support available now
- Grants based on number of jobs created
- Victorian Screen Incentive grant
- Victorian Production Fund investment
- Games Company Placement grants
- Global talent visa support
Australian Government support available July 2022
We can help you with your next market entry project
If you are considering investing in Melbourne, we can help you scope the market opportunity in Melbourne/Australia and assist you with your business case development.
Working with us will allow you to be fully informed and limit the number of surprises associated with your new investment. Our staff are experienced and well connected and can introduce you to potential partners to help make your investment a success.
|UK and Europe
contact Tim Dillon
Agent General, UK
contact Nigel Warren
|South Asia enquires
contact Michelle Wade
Or go to our All Offices page to find your nearest Invest Victorian representative.