FTI launches measures to develop WA games industry
FTI has announced it will provide the only funding in Australia available to WA games makers as part of the organisation’s new games program.
The funding will come through access to FTI’s One Off Member’s Production Fund (OOMPF) that offers two $5,000 grants and one $10,000 grant to encourage and develop emerging creative teams. Both game and film makers, who are members of FTI, will be eligible to apply for the next round of OOMPF funding, which is expected to open in late 2014.
Other initiatives announced by FTI to aid local game developers includes a business incubator, a mentorship program and a series of professional development opportunities with a range of established games professionals.
All initiatives are in response to key findings and recommendations from FTI’s 2014 Western Australian Games Industry Scoping Survey. The results of which were released via the FTI website today. Conducted in May 2014, the survey provides a significant insight into the needs and challenges of the WA Games Industry.
One of the most significant findings from the survey was that very few WA based games makers currently make a living wage from the profession. This was evidenced in the fact that while more than 70% of survey respondents reported contributing more than a 0.5 FTE working hours on games, more than 70% made less than $15,000 p/a from these endeavors.
This finding has largely been attributed to a lack of clear career pathways and opportunity in WA. With few established and viable production companies based in WA, emerging games makers are forced to move interstate for work or start their own business, often without any business experience.
FTI CEO Paul Bodlovich said that by providing opportunities for local developers, WA games makers could establish themselves on a world stage.
“The global games market reached $93 billion in 2013 and continues to grow. The digital nature of video games makes their export inexpensive and lucrative. While Western Australia has an emerging games industry, it has not been provided the resources necessary for it to grow and tap into this global market. By assisting studios to establish themselves, FTI hopes to assist the foundation of a powerful industry and enhance the vibrancy of the WA Screen Sector.”
FTI Director of Games & Interactive Kate Raynes-Goldie said that with some support, the promising local industry is well placed to overcome the challenges it currently faces.
“It's an exciting and important time for the WA games industry, but also a challenging one. The first ever Perth Games Festival this weekend attracted over 1600 attendees, blowing away the expected turnout of 600. We also have the locally developed "Paradigm" raising more than $35,000 on Kickstarter and being featured on global game media. However, the lack of funding support — until now — has held the local industry back. My hope is that FTI's support will encourage others to get on board in supporting WA game developers.”
Further details on FTI’s current games initiatives and the full findings from the WA Games Industry Scoping Survey are available from www.fti.asn.au/interactive.