Thursday 13th July: Creative England's Gameslab Leeds programme, which launched in November, today announces £157,000 worth of grants to nine companies in the Leeds City Region, funding that is offered alongside investments, workshops and networking events.
Gameslab Leeds is a key part of Creative England's ongoing mission to level the playing field for creative businesses outside of London and harness the wealth of talent in the regions with opportunities, support, and expert input.
The results of the initial GamesLab investments are striking, seeing the creation and safeguarding of almost 40 jobs, with another 18 set to be created. The initiative aims to secure 10 research partnerships with universities and academics, by 2019.
There is over £75,000 to be awarded before the end of the year and the fund is currently open for applications. The three-year development programme for games studios and digital companies in the Leeds City Region will run until 2019.
Three of the Gameslab Leeds companies will be showcased today at Be More Leeds, the first in a series of inspiring quarterly thought-leadership events illustrating the work that Creative England is doing to grow and support the creative industries across moving image, creative and tech businesses. The event series supports Be More Creative, Creative England's new multi-year celebration of regional creativity and entrepreneurialism shining a light on the innovators, mavericks and pioneers fuelling the explosion of creativity in the regions.
The Gameslab Leeds companies featured are:
BetaJester will be showing Decrypt, its brand new IP funded by the Creative England. Decrypt is a Virtual Reality puzzle game, which sees one player taking charge of the action, while the others need to guide them through the menagerie of challenges by instructing them in the real world. Along the lines of classic shows such as 'The Crystal Maze' or 'Knightmare', Decrypt is a cross-reality puzzle game for the 21st century.
Ocean Spark Studios will release Tetra: Elemental Awakening later this year, and will demonstrate a sneak preview at the Leeds event. The game takes place in a new fantasy world that combines the science of chemistry with the gameplay of classics such as World of Warcraft and Hearthstone.
D M Media is currently developing a three dimensional wireframe shooter that uses procedural generation technology to deliver a fast-paced, unique experience to gamers that combines retro aesthetics with an original engine. The company will exhibit the game on Thursday, under a working title of Foundation Alpha.
Other companies receiving GamesLab Leeds finance are:
- Cooperative Innovations (t/a Barog Games Lab)
- Torchbearer Interactive
- Gentlemen of Science
- One to One Development Trust
- Fierce Kaiju
- New Moon Games
- Twelve Oaks Software
- Red Kite Games
- GasLight Games
Solomon Nwabueze, Director of Content at Creative England, comments: "Gameslab has proven itself to be a tangible and practical force in developing and driving the gaming industry in Leeds forward; the results to date have been fantastic. Be More Leeds is an opportunity for the companies to showcase their work so far, and demonstrate what they've been able to achieve with Creative England identifying their potential, and fully supporting their work.
"It is paramount that innovative and disruptive start-ups and SMEs across the digital sector get funding at this crucial stage in their growth, to ensure that these highly creative independents don't get lost or left behind. We select the companies that we invest in very carefully; we're working to support the creative economy outside of London, driving inclusive growth by nurturing fascinating IP."