Pay to play with £5m for UK computer games

UK Games Fund receives additional boost from government, with total funding now at £13.4m over the next two years. 

Since 2015, the UK Games Fund has helped to develop talent and award grants to young video game developers and early-stage studios. This enables them to turn their drawing-board ideas into working prototype games and then showcase them to investors.

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The additional funding will mean the fund can now offer targeted support to more mature start-ups to grow their businesses. There will be larger grants for content funding, aiding the development of intellectual property that will allow companies to attract private investment and reach their next stage of growth. 

Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, says: ‘The UK video games sector is booming. It employs tens of thousands of people and generates billions in terms of revenue.  

‘As a government, we’re going to support it even further with an additional £5m to our UK Games Fund. This will enable us to help people go from their ideas to prototype, from start-up to scale-up. 

‘We want to ensure that we unlock the tremendous potential and continue to be a creative industries superpower in the UK.’ 

The UK Games Fund is run by the non-profit UK Games Talent and Finance Community Interest Company (UKGTF). Dundee-based UKGF launched in 2015. The fund provides grants for prototype funding of up to £30,000 and supports graduate talent development through its DunDev and Tranzfuser programmes. 

Paul Durrant, CEO of UKTGF, says: ‘We expect our new funding to launch later this year, allowing us to support early-stage projects at a greater scale. We’ll be seeking opportunities where our funding can unlock additional resources in parallel and drive new game IPs forward. It’s likely we’ll be supporting companies both within our existing community and also those where our present grant size hasn’t previously matched the scale of their project. 

‘This is a significant opportunity for the sector to demonstrate how larger scale content funding is important for their growth and funding criteria will be linked to the creation of economic impact.’ 

In related news, the government has announced £63m for regional research labs to drive next generation of screen technology and on-set virtual production in UK’s booming creative sector. There is also £54m for UK universities to develop cutting-edge, secure and trustworthy AI research. 

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