Government introduces £4m development fund for small UK studios

The UK Government is spending 4m in a bid to find ‘the next Tomb Raider’.

The new development fund launches today and is set-up to help get games from ‘the drawing board and into the production’. The Video Game Prototype Fund is set to run between now and 2019, and will offer 25,000 grants to support video games products, jobs and the various games clusters that exist around the UK.

The prototype fund is specifically targeted at small companies. A release from the Government states that the fund’s key features 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.”

Ian Livingstone added: 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. This fund will encourage and incentivise new talent to carry on that important legacy.”

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