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Australian Interactive Games Fund offers $20m over three years

The Australian government has set aside $20 million to support local developers over the next three years.

The Australian Interactive Games Fund will be announced by federal arts minister Simon Crean at SPAA 2012 in Melbourne today, GameSpot reports.

$5 million will be distributed in 2012 and 2013, and $10 million over 2014-2015. Screen Australia has been appointed to draw up guidelines on how the funds will be distributed, in consultation with local industry.

"Australian games studios are recognised internationally for their skill and originality in developing interactive games played all over the world, but the local industry is coming under increased pressure in the midst of a major market shift," Crean said, highlighting successes like Voxel Agents and Halfbrick.

The minister said technological advances mean games will be an important part of Australia's creative and cultural output moving into the future, a sentiment echoed by Game Developers' Association of Australia CEO Antony Reed.

The fund is apparently designed to help Australian game makers to "reclaim their competitive advantage" in the international space. Analyst are divided on the Australian industry's success over the last decade; traditional triple-A development halved over the space of three years, but thanks to the growth of digital, mobile and indie studios, another report suggests things are on the upswing.

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