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UK Games Fund opens first round of applications

Government fund looks to clear "pent up demand"

The UK government's Games Fund, which was launched officially last month by Culture and Digital Economy minister Ed Vaizey, has opened the application process for its first round.

The fund will be allocating 4 million worth of public money over the next four years in grants of 25,000 each, aiming to help the smallest indies get things off the ground as they begin to form their business. In order to apply, studios will need to find two "industry peers" to nominate them. All creative rights and IP ownership remain with in applicant's hands.

"We're incredibly excited about this first round, but it's just a small first step amongst range of planned funding packages and talent support projects," said Paul Durrent, MD of the not-for-profit The project is being run by a new, not-for-profit Community Interest Company, UK Games Talent and Finance which is running the fund. "We're going to join things up so that there's a significant overlap between supported companies, the wealth of UK games development talent and experienced mentors with all of those contributing to value growth in the UK games ecosystem."

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Latest comments (6)

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend3 years ago
In order to apply, studios will need to find two "industry peers" to nominate them.
Wtf is that about?? How arbitrary can you get. "Oh you need the feathers of a whifflehogs tail and the tears of a robot".

What if you are an indie who spends 99% of their time working, has never been to events and knows nobody else in the industry? Well I guess if you are that guy/girl then no cookies for you.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 16th November 2015 10:19am

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George Williams Owner 3 years ago
Totally agree. I was so excited about this but always had in the back of my mind 'where or what is the catch?'

In fairness, this is the first round and they said each round will have different requirements and this first round is really aimed at those who already have and probably spent the Prototype money from last year.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 3 years ago
What if you are an indie who spends 99% of their time working, has never been to events and knows nobody else in the industry?
Maybe there are some people like this in the games industry, but I'd bet that there's a lot more people who are not game developers but would be willing to cons up enough of the trappings of being a new one to qualify for the funding. If even 20% of your awards are going to folks like that, you're looking at a heck of a lot more harm being done than when you miss out some indies who never made friends.

If I had someone come up to me and say, "I'm a game developer but I can't point to a single person who's released a game who knows me," I'd be pretty darn suspicious, too.
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Jamie Firth Video Games Production 3 years ago
Also, how does this work for developers who consider themselves peerless? :-)
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend3 years ago
I'd bet that there's a lot more people who are not game developers but would be willing to cons up enough of the trappings of being a new one to qualify for the funding. If even 20% of your awards are going to folks like that, you're looking at a heck of a lot more harm being done than when you miss out some indies who never made friends.
Really?

I don't think that asking for nominations from game developers is a good way of telling if someone is actually a game developer or not. Why not just do something sensible like see if the applicant has had a company for more than 12 months, or maybe if they have released actual video games? Surely that is a better metric than some popularity contest.

So basically, if you aren't in "the club" then you have no chance of getting any of this money, only people in the club can get it. Not a very fair model, but then again this is a government scheme and if anyone has any experience of government grants they will know that they favor established companies over up and coming companies. More of the same then.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 16th November 2015 4:33pm

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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 3 years ago
Why not just do something sensible like see if the applicant has had a company for more than 12 months, or maybe if they have released actual video games?
Yes, I thought about that too, but in something aiming at "helping small indies get off the ground," I think that requiring a previous release or that a company has been in business for a year or more is probably going to disqualify more deserving recipients than the requirement for a recommendation from two peers.

Consider also, that starting from nothing, the recommendation is far easier to get. You just need to go around banging on the doors of people you don't know but who are interested in encouraging newcomers to the industry and show them what you've got so far and what you know. People in the industry are going to be much, much better judges of whether your sales presentation has anything behind it than some bureaucrat in the administration office of this programme.

And, to be frank, if you can't go out and sell your game to two people in the industry for the price of a recommendation, I don't hold out much hope for either your game being any good or your ability to sell it to consumers.
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