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Seven digital media projects have been awarded $AU3 million in funding from the NSW government to help bolster the state’s digital gaming sector.

High profile Queensland based games developer Halfbrick Studio, the architect of Fruit Ninja, took a slice of the funding which will see the gaming house open a Sydney based arm.

"This fund will help NSW build its share of the high-value digital games sector which will be increasingly important in developing serious business and education tools, as well as entertainment games like the latest Fruit Ninja project," said New South Wales deputy premier Andrew Stoner.

Stoner revealed that the Sydney studio will be focusing on "the next evolution of the Fruit Ninja games franchise." Halfbrick's marketing director Phil Larsen confirmed that plans stating " we are beginning the prototyping phase of our Sydney-based Fruit Ninja project, and all gameplay details are still completely unconfirmed."

The Interactive Media Fund supports commercially-oriented projects destined for distribution on internet, wireless, mobile or other emerging platforms or devices, with a particular focus on interactive content.

The supported projects also include: Dog Money World in conjunction with The Project Factory for development of a mobile gaming platform that fuses augmented reality, social components and real-time location gaming; Australian Documentaries’ Tamagotchi style, eco- friendly mobile game Habitat: the Game; Flashcards for iPad by INKIDS, a cross-platform children’s application for tablet devices; the Ambulance Research Institute’s serious game for mobile phones to assist paramedics in clinical decisions; Tag Town by MOD Productions, a location-based game that is played cross-platform using mobile apps and desktop web browsers and indie game developer Nnooo will receive funds to expand head count.

In May, funding was announced for 20 creative digital content projects under the fund which was previously known as NSW's Digital Media Initiative which received strong endorsement from peak bodies including the Games Developers Association of Australia, the Independent Games Developers Association, and the Screen Producers Association of Australia. ®

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