New grants for rising star developers to help turn video game ideas into smash hits

Business / Tue 19th Sep 2023 at 08:29am

CREATIVE developers and studios can bid for new cash from a multi-million pound government funded scheme to turn their new video game ideas into market leaders  – and potentially score a hit such as Grand Theft Auto or Tomb Raider.

As part of the government’s plans to maximise the potential of the creative industries and its Creative Industries Sector Vision, the UK Games Fund (UKGF) has been boosted by an extra £5 million of government funding to support domestic studios with scale-up grants.

From today, companies can apply for the new funding which is dedicated to getting games in development ready for market. The expanded fund will also help to attract even more private investment into this world leading industry – and compound the total government investment into the fund which now stands at £13.4 million from 2022-25.

The value of the UK video game consumer market was £7.05 billion in 2022. It has more than doubled in value since 2013. Since 2015, the UK Games Fund (UKGF) has invested more than £8 million to help more than 400 home-grown studios. Internationally best-selling video games made in the UK include the Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto series, Little Big Planet and Lego: Star Wars.

Speaking at video games trade body Ukie’s annual general meeting, held at the W.A.S.D. video games conference at the Truman Brewery in London, Creative Industries Minister John Whittingdale said:

Our plan is to grow the creative industries by an extra £50 billion by 2030 – and we can only do that if we maximise the potential of our world-class video games industry.

The UK’s reputation for creating video games is second to none. We want to build on that success and I’m calling on talented developers and early-stage studios to apply for the support they need to make more groundbreaking titles which thrill gamers around the world.

Alongside the new Content Fund, UKGF will continue awarding grants up to £30,000 to young video game developers and early-stage studios to turn their drawing board ideas into working prototype games and showcase them to investors. UKGF also supports graduate talent development through its DunDev and Tranzfuser programmes.

The £5 million in additional investment has been used to establish a new UKGF Content Fund, which will provide UK games studios with £50,000 – £150,000 grants to support the development of intellectual property, allowing companies to attract investment and reach their next stage of growth. Investing in video games at the crucial development stage will help UK studios expand their businesses, and create new jobs in the creative industries, which are one of the Government’s five priority sectors to grow the economy.

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