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Mobile and computer game

Games: Expansion Pack Fund

A Screen Australia initiative to help Australian game studios increase the ambition and quality of their digital games, and to transition into businesses of scale that can better compete in the global market.

Screen Australia will provide grants of up to $150,000 per successful application for production of a digital game with a budget up to $500,000. The initiative will run for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 financial years. Higher budget games are likely to be able to receive Australian Government support through the announced Digital Games Tax Offset.

Key Requirements

Applications consist of the materials requested in the application form and a proof-of-concept in the form of:

  • a playable prototype of the game(s); or
  • a document that briefly contextualises the prototype by listing:
    • description of the minimum hardware requirements needed to run the prototype
    • Step-by-step instructions that detail how to get the prototype running
    • description of prototype controls (a controller map is preferred, but a list is acceptable)
    • description of the intended experience of the prototype.

Applicants will also need to submit:

  • a development plan, including schedule and milestones;
  • a finance plan and budget to completion and release (in the prescribed format);
  • details of existing financing deals (such as grant agreements or deal memos); and
  • a marketing and release plan no fewer than 3 pages long.
  • a downloadable video that features at least 30 seconds of gameplay
  • a downloadable video pitch of no more than 3 minutes outlining the vision for the game(s) and the impact of a successful release on the applicant’s business.

Applicants can also provide examples of past games or credits that they consider will help the assessment of the application.

What is eligible for funding?

The Program Operations team will review each application to ensure eligibility, required application materials, and that prototypes are operational. Once confirmed, the applicant will receive an email advising that their application has moved to assessment. They will also be given an estimated timeframe of the outcome – generally around 5-7 weeks from receipt of the email.

Each application will be assessed on the below criteria:

  • the level of creativity and entertainment value of the game(s);
  • the viability of the budget and development and financing plans to enable the game(s) to be developed to release;
  • the viability of the marketing and release plan(s); and
  • the level to which the project and key creatives reflect gender equity and/or the diversity of people and experiences from around Australia.

Screen Australia’s Online Department will assess applications. Screen Australia may engage external assessors to assist it with some applications.

What companies are eligible for funding?

This fund targets emerging or small to medium independent Australian game developers. A game studio is considered to be independent by Screen Australia if it is a private company (not listed on the ASX) and it is not majority owned or controlled by an overseas company. This also applies to any related companies.

There are no minimum credit requirements that applicants need to meet. Regardless, Games: Expansion Pack remains an initiative for professional developers.

Applicants need to be a company to apply. The applicant company should be the actual company that will carry out the development activities on the game (i.e. employs development staff and engages independent contractors).

Screen Australia can only fund Australian projects. In the context of digital games, this does not mean that the game must have an Australian theme. However, the game must predominantly be developed in Australia, under the key creative control of Australians or Australian residents, to be considered sufficiently Australian to be eligible for funding.

Applications that were unsuccessful from round one of Games: Expansion Pack funding may apply once more with the same project. Applications that are declined within the 2022/23 year round are also able to apply once more with the same project. After two unsuccessful applications, a project is no longer eligible to apply for the fund.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Entitlement. Applications are assessed against eligibility criteria.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.