Game Bits: Australia Makes New Visa Policy For Game Developers, Microsoft Reveals Windows 11 and New Policy For Apps

Australia’s New Visa Policy For Game Developers

Australian game developers may have an easier time bringing in foreign talent, as the country this week expanded the list of skilled occupations eligible for priority visa applications and paths to permanent residency, as reported by ScreenHub.
The new rules aren’t specific to game developers, but the addition of software and applications programmers and multimedia specialists to the list of eligible occupations gives studios and developers an opportunity to take advantage of the country’s Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).
 The PMSOL was introduced in September to help ensure critical positions are filled as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This week’s expansion added 22 jobs to that list, bringing it to a total of 41.
“Government has received valuable feedback from Australian business stakeholders on critical skill vacancies, which has been considered together with data from the National Skills Commission, in order to develop today’s update to the Priority Migration Skilled Migration List,” Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke MP said.
This follows the May announcement of the Digital Games Tax Offset, under which the Australian government will give developers spending a minimum of $500,000 in the country a 30% tax break.

Microsoft’s New Policy Regarding Apps

Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 yesterday and introduced a way for app developers to get around its store fees — but games are excluded from the initiative.
In a blog post detailing its revamped Microsoft Store, the company explained that from July 28, app developers will be allowed to bring “their own or a third party commerce platform” to their apps and subsequently would not have to pay the platform’s fee, keeping 100% of their revenue.
However, the phrasing did not mention games, and Microsoft confirmed to The Verge that the deal will not apply to apps categorized as games. Currently, the Microsoft Store’s revenue share terms are at 85/15 for apps, and 88/12 for games.
 Earlier this year, Microsoft reduced its share for Microsoft Store PC games to 12%, saying: “Game developers are at the heart of bringing great games to our players, and we want them to find success on our platforms.”
The company revealed the first details of its upcoming Windows 11 yesterday, claiming the operating system was “made for gaming,” running Android apps and incorporating some Xbox features.
Third-party payment systems for games were at the core of the Epic vs Apple trial, which led to confusing debates about what a game really is. Following Apple’s argument in court, Roblox dropped the word ‘game’ on its site, replacing it with ‘experiences’. We even asked developers to weigh in on the big debate.


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