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Record number of entrants for Nordic Game funding

Excess of studios both encouraging and worrying for investment body

A record 136 studios are in the running for the current round of Nordic Game funding, bringing the total number of entrants so far this year to 228. Only around six of the contenders for the current round can expect to be awarded any of the DKK 3 million (£353,530 / €402,281) funding.

The situation, whilst pleasing as evidence of the fecundity of the Nordic development community, also has judges concerned over how many entrants will be turned away empty-handed. Erik Robertson, head of the program, wondered if the scheme will continue to cope with the demand - a prospect made all the more sour by the successes which the scheme has begun to produce.

"The number of projects has increased by 50 per cent from the last round, which brings the total for 2010 to a unbelievable record of 228," Robertson told press. "This staggering figure, about four times what we planned for, proves that the Nordic games industry is still very much expanding, but also that it is impossible for the funding scheme to meet the constantly growing demand.

"We are now beginning to see that the support system is not only in great demand all over the Nordic countries, but also that it does what it's supposed to. Our experts select high-quality games at an early stage, ones that go on to be successes both with the critics and in terms of sales."

Recently, the program's most famous graduate has been Limbo, which was met with exceptional critical acclaim by the press earlier this year. Limbo was produced by Danish developer PlayDead and received Nordic Game funding in 2008.

"The Nordic Game Program was invaluable to the creation of Limbo. The early support was instrumental in realising one of the hardest steps: a working prototype," said PlayDead producer Mads Wibroe.

"In the harsh climate of games development, the Nordic Game Program is a rare source of support. Indeed, a diverse, creative game-development scene depends upon exactly this kind of committed support - only we need much, much more of it."

Over DKK 60.7 million (£7.15m €8.14m) has been applied for this year alone, but only DKK 3 million (£353,530 / €402,281) remains to share between the winners. 38 Danish developers applied, 41 were from Finland, 11 from Iceland, 17 from Norway and 29 from Swedish game developers.

Winners will be selected by jury and announced on November 4.

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Dan Pearson