Free government money

For UK games developers.

£25k grants on what look like pretty easy terms in fact.

Anyone here actually got a games company? For we’ve got a previously successful game in Czech that we’re thinking about translating into English…..

But it needs to be a UK company with staff already on PAYE that applies….

18 thoughts on “Free government money”

  1. Oh jeez. This is the death knell for British games development, then. For years, I have been amazed at how the staggering success of the British games development industry has gone unnoticed by the government who are always looking to hitch their wagon to some success story. And now they’ve stuck their nose in.

    Give it 5 years and the gaming industry will be bogged down with SJW-imposed diversity quotas, feminist mantra, demands for living wage, and all the other shit that has driven other industries far from British shores.

  2. Hmmm. Does the PAYE requirement include being on PAYE through an umbrella? I’ve done a bit of application text translation.

  3. It’s completely the wrong time. If you look at sites like Gamasutra, you can see that the age of the micro developer in mobile platforms is rapidly ending. It’s a bit of a repeat of the bedroom coders of the 1980s and early 1990s ; now games are done by larger professional groups with specialists for the various sub components. Over about the last 5-10 years it has been possible to make a living as a “bedroom coder” on Android/iOS platforms ; now, unless you are very very lucky (a la Flappy Bird) it’s not, and it’s not possible to pick either, no-one really knows why Flappy Bird went viral went there are umpteen near identical games that didn’t.

  4. This scheme is will just end up being there to prop up the usual suspects that like to make games about the latest really boring / depressing / educational / deviant subject. Since those types of games don’t make any money in the real world the Government obviously needs to help…

    The demands for the right kind of games will likely kill the industry faster than the normal rubbish they drop on businesses. Can’t have people having fun when there is ‘art’ to be made or the latest political bandwagon to ride.

  5. Crazed Weevil/ Tim Newman

    Absolutely correct – the frightening thing about these Politically correct Fads is that there was actually almost No public demand for any of them – and no charity advocating them could hope to survive through public donations. The coalition/ Cameronite governments haven’t done much but one of their few achievements has been to stop the multiplication of these bodies and the uncontrolled growth this type of spending – however, it’s not enough to stop it growing – anyone advocating this kind of investment should immediately be made redundant and their pension provision forced into the private sector. You don’t cure a cancer merely by stopping the infection growing.

  6. Well, it may be a waste of money but at least the Government is no longer running a deficit, so the money is theirs to piss away as they see fit I suppose.

    They are running a surplus, aren’t they?

  7. > Over about the last 5-10 years it has been possible to make a living as a “bedroom coder” on Android/iOS platforms ; now, unless you are very very lucky (a la Flappy Bird) it’s not

    That’s not true. I’ve been doing alright selling my Windows and now iOS games since 1994 at I’ve had good times and bad and I know plenty of people who’ve written a great iOS game thinking they’d rake it in only to crash and burn, but there is still a middle ground between making millions and making nothing.

    I think I might apply for this grant myself…..

  8. @Sean

    Aha, you are the maker of the excellent Critical Mass!

    Many hours of fun in the 1990s. I’m somewhat surprised you didn’t make a series out of it, that game had some serious potential. (Though I imagine if a big developer had got on it, added video cutscreen and 3D graphics etc then most of the charm and enjoyment would be lost.)

    It would be a good game for touch screen. Did you release a mobile/tablet version?

  9. A successful industry (which it is) doesn’t need this kind of programme:

    Information about applicant and workforce diversity for monitoring purposes must also be provided during registration. We believe that workforce diversity contributes significantly to originality, creative impact and market potential and we positively welcome applicant companies that reflect such an approach

    Presumably all the wildly successful games that the previous £4m prototype fund supported are just too many to list.

  10. Oh, what is this shit?

    “2-15 PAYE employees if targeting £25k grant (see also guidance re contractors)”

    So, that would mean that Notch wouldn’t have gotten funding for Minecraft. Or the creator of Jet Set Willy. Or Jeff Minter.

    “We will also consider applicants where part of the team includes contractor arrangements.”

    Anyone running a small team will have contractors. Who’s doing the music? An employee? How busy is that employee?

    “And you’ll need support from two nominees who will be games development professionals with their profiles published in the public domain (staff profile or biographies on their own web site or business networking site etc.). The specific reference will have to be given in a format set out in our application form.

    Nominees cannot benefit personally from projects but can be co-funders /publishers etc. (e.g. where their employer the publisher or investor etc. potentially benefits from success).

    Who’s going to nominate a competitor? Right, no-one. So, let me guess what happened here. The government sat around the table with some big games companies and they discussed what sort of things would be a good idea, and in the interim, those companies have moved their teams into small companies built around a game they want to develop, with all sorts of qualifying criteria. Or alternatively, it’ll be people getting grants for their kids.

    “Once we have received applications and screened them for eligibility they will be shortlisted and ranked internally. We’ll be using a universal scoring system to evaluate those applications on the basis of fit with our objectives around potential impact. The team that undertakes that evaluation will have significant games development / games funding / investment / talent development experience between them and will be un-conflicted. We’ll be looking at the quality, development and creative potential of the applicants, workforce diversity, the level of innovation in the context of market potential and the overall sustainability of the business.”

    Looking at the team, that’s absolute horseshit. Not one of them is “this guy picked the following winners in video games”. It’s stuffed with “people involved in C4 and BAFTA”, so if this isn’t corrupt, it’ll be some boring shit, like a game where you have to play a Suffragette or something. The only person with any claim to know anything is a lead developer on a game, and that’s different to actually creating or funding a game.

    This will be money burnt. Some kid sitting in a bedroom with a copy of Unity will produce a great game, and nothing but low-grade shovelware will come from this.

  11. 25,000 pounds? So we’re going to get two minute ‘games’ like Depression Quest?

    Wasteland 2 was asking for – just from Kickstarter – USD900,000. That’s what they thought they would need to push out a MVP.

    If you’re tossing 25k grants around all your going to get are crappy mobile games and ‘art’.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    “I think I might apply for this grant myself…..”

    Have you ever applied for a Govt grant? There’s a whole industry of people who specialise in the process alone as its usually a Gordian Knot of red tape.

    Working on the other side of the process as an industry specialist I can assure you that grants like these are set up to purely to keep civil servants in work and they go out of their way to make sure its time consuming and difficult.

  13. “Give it 5 years and the gaming industry will be bogged down with SJW-imposed diversity quotas, feminist mantra, demands for living wage, and all the other shit that has driven other industries far from British shores.”

    The whole GamerGate kerfuffle is precisely that. The gamer nerds have responded furiously to being described as knuckle dragging misogynists by the SJW crowd, who in turn have behaved like a group of depraved nut-jobs.. seeing as that’s exactly what they are…

  14. JohnnyDub,

    It wasn’t just the SJW crowd. GamerGate is a whole mix of things, but above all else, it’s a revolution against the corrupt gaming press. People are starting to get how they work, like how they get a “preview” of the game, but the preview has been heavily doctored to look good, maybe needs a massive graphics card to run properly and people go out and find that they got a piece of crap.

    Gaming needs a Mr Plinkett, someone to deconstruct the bullshit in PC gaming.

  15. I think people got that about previews a long time ago.
    The gaming press isn’t especially if at all corrupt.
    If GamerGate can be said to be about any one thing, it’s about mob psychology – or the negative behaviour of crowds.

  16. Tim N: knell has been ringing for a more than a decade, since developers started lobbying for special tax breaks like the film industry. About the turn of the century the then DTI noticed it and started ladling out grants. In that phase it was rare to see a grant-supported game that was even vaguely competent. Odd that.

    Tim W: Let me know the details and I can likely find you someone. Localization is something people actually specialise in. If the Czech company didn’t start out with a localization kit in mind it might work out expensive, tho.

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