THE relaunch of a £4 million fund to help games developers and publishers will help boost the UK’s global standing in the sector, according to industry leaders.
The Prototype Fund, which enables start-up studios to access finance for development, helped more than 70 companies to get their first game produced when it ran from 2010-14.
The UK government also announced an additional £4m funding over the next two years to support the Skills Investment Fund which provides match funding for training for the video games industry and other creative sectors.
Jo Twist, of trade association UK Interactive Entertainment, said the measures “will help make the UK the best place in the world to make and sell games”.
“It will give more people with great ideas for games the chance to get established as a company, to start building their portfolio, and make the best possible offer to potential investors.
“This will have a significant multiplier effect, which is why we have been calling so strongly for it.”
Dr Richard Wilson, chief executive of the Tiga industry body, said he was “thrilled” that the Chancellor had supported two of his organisation’s key pre-Budget requests to help the sector ahead.
“This is a great day for the UK video games development and digital publishing sector,” he commented.
Tiga had also called for measures including the setting up of regional and national games development incubators at universities to enable more successful start-ups. It had also proposed a fund to encourage the setting up of new studios with loans made available on a matched funding basis.
“Tiga will continue to advance our agenda to strengthen the video games development and digital publishing sector in the run up to the general election and beyond.”
Latest figures on the games industry in Scotland show there are now 94 studios, employing 964 staff. Annual tax revenues, both direct and indirect, stand at £41m with an overall contribution to GDP of £99m.
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