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 capable of engaging local and international audiences, achieving commercial success, and creating and sustaining jobs.

Who is eligible for a South Australian Game Development Fund grant?

Grants are available to South Australian entrepreneurs and businesses developing digital games to be released on platforms including mobile, PC, Mac, consoles, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR); and on operating systems such as iOS, Android, and Linux.

The applicant’s business, proposed business or project must be based or developed in South Australia.

For businesses from interstate or overseas that are interested in creating jobs and/or setting up an office in South Australia contact:

Tony Lawrence
Business Development Manager
Investment Attraction South Australia
email anthony.lawrence@sa.gov.au
Phone +61 8 8303 2432

On occasion, and at the discretion of Department of State Development, businesses from interstate or overseas may be eligible to apply for a production grant if their project will create South Australian-owned intellectual property and jobs in the State.

What grants are available?

The South Australian Government will determine if a proposed expenditure is eligible for the purposes of a SAGDF grant, and eligible expenditure is dependent upon the grant category.  The program is split into three grant categories:

  • Production – 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 creating new content. Production grants must be matched on a 2 to 1 basis.
  • Marketing – Grants from $5,000 up to $15,000 to develop and execute marketing plans for games in target markets.
  • Skill development – 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 their industry capability through training, scholarships, mentorships and event sponsorship.

On occasion, and at the discretion of the Department of State Development, skill development grants for amounts of up to $5,000 may be available without formal panel assessment to enable businesses to respond to short notice opportunities.

What matched funding is required?

For production grants, applicants will be required to match funding 2 to 1 for example, two dollars of SAGDF funding for every one dollar contributed by the applicant.

Marketing and skills development grants do not require matched funding.

How much funding is available?

A total of $1.5 million in funding is available across three grant categories including production, marketing and skill development.

Who manages the grants process?

The fund is managed by the Department of State Development with input from other government agencies when required.

Can I apply at any time for a grant?

Yes, you can submit grant applications at any time; however grants will be assessed by a panel that meets (approximately) every two months.

A last minute opportunity has come up for me to present at an interstate conference.  Is there any funding available to support such opportunities?

Yes. Under the skills development grant, applicants may apply for amounts of up to $5000 that do not require formal panel assessment

How are grants assessed?

Grants are assessed by a panel consisting of representatives from industry (peer reviewers) government and industry representative organisations. The panel will sit approximately every two months.

All panel members will be required to declare any conflicts of interest. Industry and industry representative organisations will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement to participate in an assessment panel.

The Department of State Development has access to a pool of assessors and will draw upon these as needed for each grant assessment.

Final approval will be granted by the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation.

When assessing applications, the panel will consider:

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

What other support will be provided?

The assessment panel and Department of State Development may also be able to provide advice or in-kind support in addition to any grants awarded.

How long is the process from application to approval?

This depends on factors including the size of the requested grant, the urgency of the opportunity, and the quality of the application.

The panel will meet approximately every two months to review applications.

Some applications may require additional work before it can be presented to the panel.

Do I need to provide confidential information?

Yes, applicants may be required to provide confidential information as part of the grant process. This may include company turnover, number of employees and contract and intellectual property information.  All applications will be kept confidential.

What other supporting material should I include with my application?

 Supporting material will help the panel obtain a better understanding of your application and help in the decision-making process.

Where available, applicants may include items such as playable demonstrations or other proof of concept of games, visuals from the proposed games, information on previously released projects developed by the company, letters of support (for example from industry peers) to support applications.

How do I get notified if my application is successful?

The Senior Project Officer will keep you informed of the progress of your application.

All applicants will receive written notification to confirm whether the application is successful or unsuccessful.

If unsuccessful, can I re-apply?

Yes. You can apply for a different project or for the same one. Any new application will go through the assessment process again.

Will I be able to get advice as to why my application was unsuccessful?

Upon request, feedback will be provided by the assessment panel.  If you are unsuccessful and you intend to apply again in future, it is recommended you contact the Senior Project Officer to obtain further advice for your next application.

What happens once my application is successful?

Once a grant is approved by the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, the Department of State Development will enter a Funding Agreement with the applicant.  The funding agreement will detail the project period, scope, milestones, eligible expenditures, reporting requirements and, if applicable, repayment conditions.

If my grant application is successful, how will I receive the payment?

For larger grants, a payment schedule (tranches) will be determined based on project milestones. Payments are usually made in advance to allow you to cover the expenses related to the next milestone. A final payment is made in arrears once the project completion report is validated and the financial acquittal completed for the entire project (SAGDF funding + matching component).

 Do I have to spend the grant money in South Australia?

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following four 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.

Can I apply to two different funding programs?

Yes. For example, you may apply to both the marketing and the production grants programs for different elements of the same project.

Can I obtain funding through multiple rounds for the same project?

Yes, but only at the discretion of the Department of State Development. Multiple applications for one project will be assessed more favourably if evidence of tangible success from previously awarded grants is provided.

Can I apply for production funding for a project that has already commenced?

We are aware that the lifecycle for product development for games has changed in recent years, and that most development is iterative with new versions of existing games and game franchises being continually worked upon and released to market.  Therefore, this funding will on occasion be available for existing projects, but only at the discretion of the Department of State Development.

What is the process for the financial acquittal?

Depending on your project you may be required to provide interim financial acquittals or a final financial acquittal at the end of the grant. You must provide a report (a template will be provided) including all relevant invoices and proof of payments.

What happens if I need to change milestones/expenditures during project execution?

The Funding Agreement is a legal document that will define your obligations around any milestones and eligible expenditure related to your project.

As running a business involves making decisions and adapting to external changing factors, the Department of State Development recognises the need for some flexibility. Should you need to make any changes to your funding agreement, please contact the Senior Project Officer in advance of the change so that they can work with you to understand the reasons for and impact of the change before submitting a request for a variation to the funding agreement.

Will the Government publicise my grant if I am successful?

The South Australian Government will have the right to publish press releases to promote fund recipients and grant amounts.

Press releases will include non-confidential and pre-agreed information, unless otherwise agreed in the Funding Agreement.  Where relevant, the media and communications team will work with you on joint media releases or to obtain quotes.

Who can I contact about the fund?

For questions about your grant application or the application process contact:

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

Who can I contact about the industry strategy and support?

For questions about the Game Development Industry Strategy and broader government support for the South Australian Game Development industry contact:

Karen Marsh
Manager, Creative Economy
Department of State Development
email karen.marsh@sa.gov.au
Phone 0455 085 947