Effective date 1 February 2018

Purpose of this Guide

The South Australian Game Development Fund Guidelines (Guidelines) are to be used as a reference guide when applying for a grant under the South Australian Game Development Fund (SAGDF).

Applicants for a SAGDF grant (Applicant) should read these Guidelines before completing the SAGDF Application Form (Application Form).

Overview of the SAGDF


The South Australian Game Development Fund (SAGDF) is a State Government program established to support South Australia’s entrepreneurs and businesses to create high quality digital games that will engage local and international audiences, achieve commercial success, and create and sustain jobs.

The fund provides grants of up to $50,000 to help game development entrepreneurs and businesses to produce globally competitive content, execute marketing plans for their games in target markets, and create original, South Australian-owned intellectual property.

In November 2017, the South Australian Government dedicated $2 million over three years to establish a world-class games hub (Game Plus) in Adelaide and to support industry specific skills development and education programs.

Grants and grant amounts

A total of $1.5 million in funding is available through the South Australian Game Development Fund across three grant categories:

  • Production Grants (total pool of $1.0 million)
    • Grants from $15,000 up to $50,000 to employ additional staff with specialist skills, acquire hardware or software, or cover other genuine production associated costs for the creation of new content. Production Grants must be matched on a 2:1 basis. i.e. For a total project budget of $30,000, the State Government will contribute $20,000 and the applicant $10,000.
  • Marketing Grants (total pool of $300,000)
    • Grants from $5,000 up to $15,000 to develop and execute marketing plans for games in target markets.
  • Skill Development Grants (total pool of $200,000)
    • Grants of up to $20,000 for game developers to attend conferences and speaker events to help them remain innovative and competitive and to grow capability their industry capability through training, scholarships, mentorships and event sponsorship.
    • On occasion, and at the discretion of the Department of State Development (DSD), skill development grants for amounts of up to $5,000 (dependent on the nature of the opportunity) may be available without formal panel assessment to enable businesses to respond to short notice opportunities. Applicants can discuss their requirements with the Senior Project Officer as soon as practicable.

Note, the Department of State Development may change the nominal allocation of funding across the three grant categories depending on the level of demand.

All amounts quoted above exclude GST.

Applications can be submitted at any time however, grants will be assessed by a panel that meets (approximately) every two months.  Applications must be for projects up to a maximum of 12 months in duration.

The South Australian Government will make payments for eligible activities upfront or in arrears.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following four (4) criteria:

  1. The applicant must have evidence of matched funding for production grants.
  2. The applicant can enter a legally binding funding agreement with the South Australian Government.
  3. The applicant’s business (or its proposed business) or project must be based in South Australia.
  4. The applicant must be a game development company, or a service provider offering game development or game development-related services to a game development company.

Eligible expenses

Eligible expenses will depend on the type of grant/s the Applicant is to apply for they include but are not limited to:

  • Production Grants
    • Hardware and software
    • Salaries
    • Engagement of consultants
    • Intellectual property protection costs.
  • Marketing Grants
    • Hardware and software
    • Salaries
    • Engagement of consultants
    • Intellectual property protection costs
    • Marketing costs.
  • Skill Development Grants
    • Training
    • Scholarships
    • Event sponsorship
    • Conference registration
    • Travel and accommodation.

Expenses not eligible under the SAGDF include:

  • Property expenses (including rent)
  • Maintenance or upkeep of facilities
  • Recruitment and procurement fees
  • General office equipment (such as stationery and supplies)
  • Non-technical professional services (such as accounting or legal fees)
  • Any administrative fee or surcharge for administering the grant
  • Any fees incurred in the preparation of a grant application
  • Any other activities as determined by the SA Government that are the usual requirement of business.

The South Australian Government will determine if a proposed expenditure is eligible for the purposes of a SAGDF grant.

Merit criteria

Applications will be assessed by the Panel against (but not limited to) the following criteria:

  • The applicant’s ability to execute the planned project, including how well the project is scoped and planned;
  • How the grant will help a business to reach its commercial goals (for example access to new markets, creation of original, South Australian owned IP, and / or revenue generation);
  • The value proposition for South Australian Government investment;
  • The number and quality of jobs created through the Applicant’s project; and
  • The strategic need for the project within the applicant’s business plan.

Application process

Interested Applicants should first read the frequently asked questions about the SAGDF, and discuss any further questions with the Senior Project Officer.  Applicants should then complete an Application form and submit it to the Senior Project Manager for assessment by the panel.

Selection process


All applications will be assessed on merit. The Department of State Development reserves the right not to fund an application regardless of whether an applicant fulfils the eligibility criteria and addresses all merit criteria. An offer of funding may be subject to special conditions.

The Department of State Development reserves the right not to award any grants. All decisions made by the South Australian Government are final.

Under exceptional circumstances the Department may fund an application that does not meet all the criteria.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing. Unsuccessful applicants may re-apply for an SAGDF grant.

Funding agreement

Successful applicants (Grantee) will be required to enter a funding agreement with the Department of State Development for the grant. The funding agreement will set out (amongst other things) provisions relating to the following:

  • Reporting and acquittal obligations (including a requirement to provide financial statements/reports at the end of each financial year);
  • Budget, eligible expenditure and project milestones;
  • Authority for the Department of State Development to formally audit the accounts and records of the Grantee;
  • Obligation to acknowledge the SAGDF in public statements about the project; and
  • Any other special conditions upon funding made by the Department of State Development.

The Department of State Development may also disclose broad details of the Grantee and the Grantee’s project (including name, amount of funding and brief explanation of the project) for purposes of promoting the SAGDF and reporting on its operations.

A breach of the funding agreement (including but not limited to where the Grantee is wound up, becomes insolvent, or enters an agreement to sell a substantial part of its assets, shares or business on uncommercial terms) may result in the Grantee being required to refund a portion of, or the maximum amount of, the grant.

Who can I contact for more information?

Sarah Treasure
Senior Project Officer
Department of State Development
email sarah.treasure@sa.gov.au
Phone 08 8207 8778 or 0424 952 098