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Australian computer games industry in healthy shape.



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Australian computer games industry in healthy shape

Australia's innovative computer games industry makes a major economic and social contribution including solid export earnings, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said today.

Speaking at the Australian Game Developers Conference 2002 in Melbourne, Senator Alston said our computer games industry was in healthy shape, with annual turnover of $110 million and export income this year of approximately $100 million.

One Australian company with a strong record of innovation and success in software development, Micro Forté, recently signed a major deal with Microsoft Game Studios to create an exclusive title for the Microsoft Xbox.

Micro Forté, with studios in Canberra and Sydney, will develop the game incorporating its patented BigWorld(TM) Technology that allows hundreds and thousands of people to play in an online world. This technology (first known as the Large-Scale Multiplayer Persistent Universe (LSMPU) project) was developed with an AusIndustry R&D Start Grant and venture capital funding from Allen & Buckeridge.

Start Grants have helped to foster the success of the Australian software and information and communications technology (ICT) industries. Applications for funding under the next round of the program can now be lodged with AusIndustry.

Total funding of more than $160 million is available through the program for 2002-03 with more than $170 million available in 2003-04 and in excess of $180 million in 2004-05. Funding will be available for grants and loans under the program.

The Government's support of the effort by Australia's creative industries-including the games industry-to continue to grow and seize a share of the global market has included the commissioning a study on the production of digital content and applications by Australia's creative industries.

Stage one of the report, published in May this year, identified Australia's key enterprises, their location and the drivers and barriers that can mean the difference between success and failure.

This information, and further analysis in the next stages of the study, will help to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Australia's creative industries and provide a framework to continue to develop this valuable sector into the future.

Media contact: Simon Troeth 02 6277 7480 or 0439 425 373 Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

 

277/02 6 December 2002