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Singapore to plough £9.5m into games industry

First game development centres planned; funding offered to small and large-scale devs

Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) has announced a new funding scheme which will make SGD 20 million (£9.5 million) available to games developers targeting international markets.

Speaking at its annual Media Business Forum, MDA said that it was looking for project calls from across the sectors of television, film, animation, games, interactive media, publishing and music, in particular from companies working on projects that were internationally marketable and scalable across media platforms.

"Over the past few years, Singapore media content and applications have made inroads into the global market," said MDA CEO Dr Christopher Chia.

"Those whom have made content that informs, entertains or educates and found markets globally, have in their own ways carried a little of Singapore to many parts of the world, be it through the stories, the films, the TV series, the publications, the games, or any of the content that is shown in so many countries worldwide.

"Companies that have made their mark with international collaborations have in turn also begun to attract more production work to Singapore, therefore creating jobs for those more inclined to create, opening up new opportunities in terms of jobs, skills' transfer and business opportunities in the media sector."

In order to take Singapore's games to the next level, the MDA has earmarked £9.5 million over three years to implement the Game programme, which is said would address the needs of the entire games value chain by providing support, from concept development to market strategies.

Game will include the newly launched Inspire initiative, which aims to co-invest up to 30 per cent in large-scale, big budget projects, such as MMOs.

Complementing that will also be a programme aimed at start-ups and individuals with proposals for games on emerging platforms such as social networking sites, handheld devices and online services.

Mentoring would also be provided, said MDA, and the authority added that it would be partnering with game development institute DigiPen and the School of Interactive and Digital Media in Nanyang Polytechnic to establish the first Game Development Centres in Singapore.

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