Spanish government cuts €2m fund for indie developers
20 developers lose up to €150,000 each
Plans to revitalise the indie games scene in Spain have been stalled as a €2 million fund has been scrapped.
The money was originally going to be issued by the European Union, with grants planned to 20 developers in the region, mostly studios with five developers or less. Smaller teams would have received €50,000, while growing companies with more than five staff were set to gain up to €150,000 each.
However, local newspaper El Español reports that Álvaro Nadal, Spain's Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda minister, cancelled the €2 million fund. At the time of writing, no reason has been given for this decision.
It's possible that the Spanish Government has alternative plans for financing games development start-ups. Last month, Secretary of State for Culture Fernando Benzo formed the Video Game Table to explore and ideally resolve the challenges facing the industry.
Spain is the fourth largest gaming market in Europe, with €1.16 billion spent on games according to the newspaper, and is home to studios such as MercurySteam (which handled last year's Metroid 2 remake) and Tequila Works (the team behind the acclaimed Rime and The Sexy Brutale.
But many of the nation's developers are start-ups with limited funding - in 2016, research showed that 45% of Spanish games firmed has fewer than five employees, and only 5% had more than 50. These grants would have been a significant part in growing new talent in the region - most of the studios selected were working on their first game.
The Spanish video games trade body DEV is due to present a white paper on the country's games industry next week. Hopefully, this will shed more light on the state of indie development in the region and encourage more funding.