The UK government has today announced that it will provide a development fund of £4m to help small UK studios and developers grow in the hope of finding “the next Tomb Raider”.
The Video Game Prototype Fund as it will be known will be available up until 2019 and will offer grants of £25,000 or £50,000 so that studios and developers can turn their vision into a reality, allowing their games to go from ‘the drawing board and into production’. The aim is that the studios will be able to use the funding to create a working prototype so that they then have a product to pitch to private investors or other sourcing outlets. A limited number of projects will also be selected to receive the higher grant allowing them to create a product beyond just the prototype phase.
Targeted at small companies and studios, a release from the government reveals that the fund will include:
- The offer of grants of up to £25,000 to help new and young games development businesses create working prototype games.
- The offer of grants of up to £50,000 for a limited number of projects to take their ideas beyond the prototype phase.
- Talent development initiatives – this will include competitions for students and graduate teams to create and showcase new games, mentoring for businesses and individuals, and opportunities for talented individuals to work on games prototype projects.
- The Prototype fund will build upon a previous government-supported scheme, which was successfully run by Abertay University between 2010 and 2014.
“Britain’s video games punch well above their weight internationally and we need to build on this and invest in the strength of our creativity,” said minister for culture and digital economy Ed Vaizey.
“This fund will give small businesses, start-ups and individuals the support they need to better attract private investment and go on to create the blockbusters of tomorrow.”
“The UK has a long history of developing world-class video games. From Elite and Populous to Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto to Runescape and Moshi Monsters to Monument Valley and Plunder Pirates, UK games have made a significant cultural and economic global impact”, added entrepreneur Ian Livngstone, This fund will encourage and incentivise new talent to carry on that important legacy.”