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Coffee Stain launches gender equality fund to improve developer diversity

Goat Simulator publishers will be investing in startups that employ at least as many women as men

Acclaimed indie Coffee Stain Studios has kicked off a new funding program that aims to resolve the gender imbalance in the development scene.

Levelling the Playing Field is a scheme designed to finance small studios or startups where women either equal or outnumber men in the company's headcount.

The scheme is open to any developers that require less than one million Swedish Krona and only employees a "small team". What constitutes 'small' isn't made clear, so presumably this is something Coffee Stain will judge based on who applies.

Coffee Stain will request a minority stake in your studio "where any eventual profits will be used to make this initiative self-sustaining", but assures that it won't demand any influence over your company or project.

Details on how to apply can be found at Coffee Stain's website.

The Goat Simulator firm has already invested an undisclosed sum in Other Tales Interactive, a two-woman Danish/Swedish indie run by Tanja Tankred and Mira Dorthé.

The funds will be used to aid the development of their debut game, Tick Tock: A Tale for Two - an asynchronous two-player adventure game where communication is the key to solving puzzles.

"The current level of employment equality between women and men in the games industry is poor," said Coffee Stain CEO and founder Anton Westbergh. "In the Swedish games industry only 18% of its employees are women. This number is increasing every year, however at Coffee Stain we are way too impatient to idly sit by and wait for true equality in the industry to come about.

"It is with this in mind that we are creating a new funding opportunity aimed at smaller development teams where at least half of the staff whose staff is made up of women."

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