A tax break for game developers has been expanded to cover the “live ops” needed after public release.
Changes, updates, or improvements made to an existing game will be covered by the Digital Games Tax Offset, according to the budget update released on Thursday.
The extra $19.6 million over two years kicks in from 2023-24.
“This additional investment recognises that a lot of valuable and highly skilled work in the industry is devoted to the ongoing development of games, after their initial release,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said.
The 30 per cent refundable tax offset was announced in the May budget for eligible businesses that spend a minimum of $500,000 from 1 July 2022.
The minister said the extra spending would enable the local interactive entertainment sector to expand and foster skilled employment in an area in which significant numbers of young Australians are seeking to work.
Digital Economy Minister Jane Hume said the rest of the economy would also benefit from building capability in emerging technologies and digital tech businesses.
The potential benefits through digitalisation have been estimated to be as much as $315 billion over the next decade, with the potential to create up to a quarter of a million new jobs by 2025.
The tax break is yet to be legislated.
Draft laws will be released in the first quarter of 2022 for comment.