The government has thrown open its coffers to video game businesses in the UK, by providing £4 million in industry grants. Announced on 12 October 2015, the Video Games Prototype Fund is offering pots of cash up to £50,000 for all stages of production.
Available until 2019, the fund will aim to help the industry develop new projects, support employment and skills development, and nurture the growth of games clusters around the UK. Operated by UK Games Talent and Finance CIC, the fund could be the key to unlocking more of the UK’s gaming talent, which has already given the world huge titles including Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto V and Batman: Arkham Knight.
2 tiers of funding are to be released:
- Up to £25,000 for new and young games developers create working prototype games.
- Up to £50,000 for a limited number of projects to take their ideas beyond the prototype phase.
The fund will also run talent development initiatives including competitions for students and graduates to create and showcase new games, mentoring for businesses and individuals, and opportunities for talented individuals to work on games prototype projects.
Britain’s video games punch well above their weight internationally and we need to build on this and invest in the strength of our creativity. This fund will give small businesses, start-ups and individuals the support they need to better attract private investment and go on to create the blockbusters of tomorrow. Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy
“Funding for both prototype development and talent support can really make a difference in the early stages of creative and business development. This Fund is a great boost for the sector and will help projects better attract significant private investment.”
Paul Durrant, Managing Director, UK Games Talent and Finance CIC
Find out more about the government’s announcement here.
Quick video game industry facts*:
- The industry generates more than £4.5 million each day for the national economy.
- Almost 20,000 people are employed directly by the industry.
- The UK has around 1,900 video game companies.
- The UK's Game-making clusters are: Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff, Guildford and Aldershot, Edinburgh, Dundee, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Rotherham, and Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon.
*Research from NESTA and Ukie.