Game coders promised cash

Game coders promised cash

Infogrames, the international publisher and developer of entertainment software, has joined the Victorian State Government in pledging millions of dollars of funding to the game development community in Australia.

On a visit to the Australian Games Developer Conference, Infogrames CEO and chairman Bruno Bonnell pledged $170 million of funding to the development of new entertainment software, $50 million of which will be directed through the Australian office to the Australian and wider Asian region.

Adam Lancman, the managing director and CEO of Infogrames Melbourne House, said most of the $50 million will be spent on freelance game developers. His in-house development team already has a separate budget allocated to it. "We are interested in developers coming forward with original ideas, or others with the time to develop one of our ideas."

Lancman said the average cost of developing a game for Nintendo's GameBoy Advanced system was in the order of $200,000 to $700,000, while the development for a PC game cost around $500,000 and up, and the development for next-generation platforms cost anywhere between $1 million and $4 million.

Lancman, who is also the president of the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA), is passionate about the untapped skills among developers in Victoria and the country as a whole. "The talent in Australia is amazing," he said. "When you look at what our guys can do, they are right up there with the world's elite.

"We just haven't had the same opportunity as the US or Europe. Hopefully these new opportunities will start to open up more doors and make it easier for developers here to get their product to market."

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