UK game developer and publisher network TIGA has issued a statement calling for policy makers to ensure prototype funding is made available for independent game developers: a move the firm believes would be viable if the National Lottery were to finance it.
TIGA’s research has found that a lack of funding for UK games companies is hampering their growth, making it impossible for new start-ups to find their feet and thrive.
According to TIGA data, 44 percent of UK games companies were started in the past 2 years, meaning they're at pivotal points in their lifecycle, while 29 percent of UK-based outfits founded in the last 5 years have been forced to shut down.
TIGA has proposed that National Lottery funding should be used to finance early game development in order to give newborn studios a helping hand.
The proposed ‘Prototype Fund’ would also be used to provide business, creative, and technical guidance to help projects that have already been funded find commercial success.
TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson believes that we should be doing everything in our power to ensure that the UK can compete in the global arena.
“The global market for video games is growing and the UK has an opportunity to win an increasing share of this market,” said Wilson.
"Yet start-up development studios are finding it relatively difficult to raise external finance and this can be a serious problem, as the development of new technology and content can be expensive.
“Making prototype funding available will tip the balance more in favour of start-ups and small development studios by helping them to surmount the barriers to accessing finance."
A stronger UK
Wilson has also suggested that more funding would benefit everyone living in the UK, not just those working in the games industry.
“Enabling more promising studios to fund prototype development and IP generation will also support wider economic growth,” added Wilson.
“However, prototype funding should not be a stand-alone policy. In particular, developers need business and commercial advice on how to get their prototype fully funded and released into the market.
"Combining prototype support with business advice will enable the building of more successful games studios which means a stronger UK games industry and a stronger UK economy.”