8515.0 - Digital Game Development Services, Australia, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/04/2008  First Issue
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Artists and animators

Artists and animators are individuals providing artistic and/or animation services during game development.

Audio technicians

Audio technicians are individuals who provide sound effects or compose music/scores during game development.

Australian resident

An Australian resident is any individual, business or other organisation ordinarily domiciled in Australia including internal territories such as the Cocos Islands and Christmas Island for 12 months or more. Australian branches and Australian subsidiaries of foreign businesses are regarded as Australian residents.

Casual employees

This item refers to employees who are not entitled to paid leave.

Computer software expensed

This item refers to expenses incurred for computer software, including computer software licence/renewal fees expensed by the business.


This type of format refers to games developed for old and/or next generation gaming platforms such as the Sony Playstation (2 and 3), Microsoft Xbox (original and 360) and the Nintendo Wii.Depreciation and amortisation

This item refers to the financial charges made in the accounts to reflect that part of the value of the asset which may be regarded as having been used up in producing revenue in a particular accounting period. They represent the accounting process of systematically allocating the cost of a non-current asset over its expected useful life.


Designers are individuals who primarily work on the layout, concept and design of a game. This may include writing scripts, specifications or creating storyboards for game. Employer contributions to superannuation funds

This item includes all employer contributions to superannuation schemes excluding contributions paid in lieu of wages and salaries (as part of a salary package).

Employment at end June

This item represents all working proprietors and partners, salaried directors and other employees on the payroll of the business during the last pay period ending in June 2007. Permanent, temporary and casual employees and employees absent on paid or prepaid leave are included. Non-salaried directors, self-employed persons such as consultants and contractors, persons paid by commission only and volunteers are excluded.Format

This item refers to the type of electronic device for which digital games are developed, e.g. PC, console, mobile phone.

Fringe benefits tax

Fringe benefits tax is payable by employers when certain benefits in excess of normal wages or salaries (e.g. free or discounted goods or services) are received by their employees (or associated employees) in connection with their employment.Government funding

This item refers to payments made by government to businesses as recorded on the income statement for a business. It includes payments to assist in meeting the operating costs of the business, either in general or for specific projects, and payments to assist in the purchase of capital items, e.g. plant and equipment. Funding can be financial or in-kind (in the form of provision of goods or services).Handhelds

This type of format refers to games developed for small portable consoles such as the Sony Playstation Portable, Nintendo DS, DS-lite or Gameboy.Income from provision of game development services to other businesses

This item refers to the payments the business receives as fee-for-service work. The income may be a payment or advance from a publisher or a parent company based overseas.

Industry value added (IVA)

IVA represents the value added by an industry to the intermediate inputs used by the industry. IVA is the measure of the contribution by businesses, in the selected industry, to gross domestic product.

The derivation of IVA for market producers is as follows:

sales and service income

plus funding from federal, state and/or local government for operational costs

plus capital work done for own use

plus closing inventories

less opening inventories

less intermediate input expenses

less capitalised purchases

equals IVA.

Wage and salary expenses and most other labour costs are not taken into account in its calculation nor are most insurance premiums, interest expenses, depreciation or a number of lesser expenses including bad debts, computer software expensed and state gambling taxes.

Insurance premiums

These are expenses incurred by a business in respect of different types of insurance policies but excluding workers’ compensation and compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance.

Interest expenses

These are outflows of funds related to the cost of borrowing money.Labour costs

These are staff related costs such as wages and salaries (including moneys paid directly through the payroll to freelancers without an ABN), fringe benefits tax and payroll tax, employer contributions to superannuation funds, workers’ compensation premiums, provision expenses for employee entitlements, salary sacrifice paid on behalf of employees and employee share based payments and stock options expensed to the business. Capitalised wages and salaries are excluded.

Land, buildings and other structures

This item refers to the cost of rent, leasing and hiring of land, buildings and other structures from other businesses or individuals.

Land tax and land rates

Land tax is an annual tax assessed to the owner of the land. Land rates are annual charges levied by local government for the provision of local government services.Main activity

Main activity refers to the activity on which a person working for the business spent the majority of their time during the last pay period ending in June 2007.


This item refers to individuals whose main activity is managerial, administrative or clerical support. It includes producers and administrative staff.

Mobile phones

This type of format refers to games developed for mobile phones and other personal devices such as palm pilots, where the primary use of the device is for mobile communication.Non-resident

A non-resident is any individual, business or other organisation ordinarily domiciled in a country other than Australia for 12 months or more. Residents of Norfolk Island and other external territories of Australia and foreign branches and foreign subsidiaries of Australian businesses are regarded as non-residents.Operating profit before tax

This item is a measure of profit (or loss) during the reference period, taken before extraordinary items are brought to account and prior to the deduction of income tax and appropriations to owners (i.e. dividends paid, drawings). It is derived as:

total income

plus closing inventories

less total expenses

less opening inventories

equals operating profit before tax.

Operating profit margin

This represents the percentage of businesses' sales of goods and services which becomes profit after all operating expenses have been deducted. It is derived by expressing total operating profit before tax as a percentage of total sales of goods and services.

Other contract, subcontract and commission expenses

This item refers to other businesses and self-employed persons for work done or sales made on a contract or commission basis and payments to persons paid by commission without retainer. It excludes contract payments specified elsewhere, such as payments to other business/contractors for game development services.

Other employees

This item represents all employees on the payroll for the last pay period ending in June 2007, excluding salaried directors of incorporated businesses. Non-salaried directors, subcontractors, consultants, persons paid solely by commission without a retainer are also excluded.

Other expenses

This item includes all other operating expenses not listed as a separate expense item.

Other game formats

This category includes games developed for DVD players or other devices not specified elsewhere.

Other income

This includes any income not otherwise listed, including operating and non-operating income. Operating income includes royalties, income from other goods and services, non-government grants, rent, leasing and hiring and interest. Non-operating income includes net profit (loss) on the sale of non-current assets, net profit (loss) on foreign loans as a result of variations in foreign exchange rates/transactions, net profit (loss) on share trading and dividend income.

Other main activity

This item includes all individuals not categorised elsewhere, such as sales and marketing staff. Payments to other businesses/contractors for game production services

This item refers to payments to other businesses or contractors for services that directly contribute to the development or production of a game. Examples of these payments would be to animation studios, sound studios or software developers for work completed on a game. This item may also include payments to individuals providing game development services to the business on a contract basis.

Payroll tax

Payroll tax is a tax levied by state and territory governments upon the amount of wages and salaries paid by a business.

PC and Mac

This type of format refers to games developed for personal computers. This includes massively multi-player online role playing games played on personal computers.

Permanent full-time employees

This item refers to permanent employees who work 35 hours or more per week and are entitled to paid leave.

Permanent part-time employees

This item refers to permanent employees who work less than 35 hours per week and are entitled to paid leave.


This item refers to individuals who develop and write computer software as part of the game development process.


Purchases are the cost of goods and services used in the production of the final output of a business. It excludes capitalised costs and any goods and services separately identified. It includes finished goods for resale and goods for the business's own use.Quality assurance

This item refers to individuals who test games during development for flaws and bugs.Rent, leasing and hiring

Rent, leasing and hiring expenses are the costs for the rent, leasing (excluding finance leases) and hiring of vehicles, land, buildings, machinery, equipment and any other property from other businesses or individuals.


Royalties expenses are payments made by a business for the use of rights owned by another business or person. This item includes payments made under licensing agreements and franchise arrangements.Salary sacrifice, share based payments and employee stock options

Salary sacrifice includes earnings sacrificed by employees in order to make superannuation contributions or for other employee benefits (e.g. motor vehicles, laptop computers). Employee stock options includes employee share based payments and stock options.Technical support

This item refers to individuals who provide support, such as information technology or hardware assistance, to the business. These individuals would not generally be involved in the development of a game.

Travel, accommodation and entertainment expenses

This item refers to the costs of transport and accommodation for staff which are incurred when business activities occur away from the normal place of business. Entertainment expenses are the costs incurred by a business for the provision of entertainment activities.Wages and salaries

This item refers to the gross wages and salaries (excluding capitalised wages and salaries) of all employees of the business. It includes severance, termination and redundancy payments, salaries and fees of directors and executives, retainers and commissions of persons who received a retainer, bonuses, and annual and other types of leave. Provision expenses for employee entitlements are also included (e.g. provisions for annual leave and leave bonus, long service leave, sick leave, and severance, termination and redundancy payments). Payments related to salary sacrifice and payments to self-employed persons such as consultants, contractors and persons paid solely by commission without a retainer, are excluded.

Workers’ compensation premiums/costs

Workers’ compensation is a compulsory insurance cover taken out by all employers, except for self-insured workers, according to legislative schemes to cover employees suffering injury or disease in the course of, or arising out of, employment.

Working proprietors and partners and salaried directors

A working proprietor operates his or her own business (a sole proprietorship), while a partner, along with one or more other partners, operates a partnership. Working proprietors and partners are:
  • the owners of their business
  • legally inseparable from the business entity
  • liable for any business debts that are incurred.

As such, working proprietors and working partners are not considered to be employees of their business.

Salaried directors are directors of an incorporated business (e.g. proprietary limited company) who are paid a retainer, wage or salary. They are considered to be employees of the business.