At the beginning of this year, the European Union launched a support programme for video game development, as a part of Creative Europe programme. The results of the first call were published in August and all together 259 companies from 26 member states applied for the funding. Out of them, 29 studios from 14 member states passed the detailed expert review and received all together 3.2 million euro from the Union.
The number of applications by country
The president of EGDF, Guillaume de Fondaumière comments:
”European game developers applied all together almost 22.4 million euro in the first call. This clearly demonstrates the huge demand for the development support all over Europe. This kind of funding is especially important for game developers coming from new Member States or Southern member states that have been severely hit by the economic crisis and therefore have been forced to cut their public funding opportunities.”
The CEO of TIGA and a board member of EGDF, Dr Richard Wilson continues:
”Even in member states that have a strong game development tradition like the UK, the Creative Europe funding can play an important role. The UK has many regional clusters of game developers, but finding investment can be difficult. TIGA was pleased to see that Plug in Media in Brighton was among the studios that got the funding for their game. We hope that many more UK studios will apply and benefit from Creative Europe funding in the future.”
The huge demand for public support in this field is partly explained by the fact that games are a unique combination of artistic creativity, technological innovation and business skills. Out of these three key elements, public funding instruments often focus on technological and business innovation, where as public grants targeted solely for the creation of innovative and artistic digital content are rare.
The director of Danish developer association Producentforeningen and a board member of EGDF, Klaus Hansen underlines:
”In many member states, like in Denmark, Creative Europe funding is the main public grant available for artistically ambitious games. Public funding for game design encourages game developers to push the boundaries of cultural creativity in addition technological and business barriers and therefore plays a vital role in helping them to conquer global games markets.”
A board member of German Game developer association G.A.M.E and a board member of EGDF, Hendrik Lesser concludes:
“Game design in its broadest sense is the key element for both the commercial and critical success of games. Without support for groundbreaking innovation in this area European companies lose their leading role in global digital entertainment markets. Consequently, the support mechanism plays a key role in the creation of digital growth and jobs in Europe. I am especially glad that also German developers and publishers are taking the chances and working on interesting projects like their peers in the rest of Europe.”
Due to limited amount of funding available for game development under Creative Europe programme the competition for funding is extremely hard. Therefore it is crucial that all European game developers have a level playing field on applying it.
The director of Finnish hub for games industry Neogames and a board member of EGDF Koopee Hiltunen stresses:
”Creative Europe funding should not become a competition on application writing skills. It should be a competition about the best and most innovative concepts for games. Consequently, funding guidelines should be carefully updated and clarified to fit for the games industry practices. Furthermore, the Creative Europe Desks, especially in the countries with low success rates in Eastern and Southern Europe, should focus on providing more support for local developers in the next call. EGDF and its national member associations are more than happy to help in this process. “
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