Following up its proposal for UK Lottery money to be used for prototype funding for developers across the country, trade association TIGA has now turned its attention to new IP.
The body is calling for the launch of a Creative Content Fund (CCF) – again, partly funded by cash from the National Lottery – to be used to encourage the formation of new studios and, as a result, the development of new content and IP in the UK.
Citing the British Film Institute's annual £26 million investment in film development, production and distribution (thanks to Lottery money), TIGA claims 20 loans of £150,000 each could be distributed annually to game developers, coming in at £3 million ($5 million) in total.
The body notes that the BFI's own Lottery funding is set to jump to £30 million by 2017, with TIGA proposing the CCF either offer loans on a pound for pound matched funding basis, or convertible loans on commercial terms.
“If we are to build more successful games businesses then we need to enhance developers’ access to finance and remove the restraints on their creativity,” said TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson.
“Establishing a Creative Content Fund would improve developers’ ability to raise finance, stimulate original IP generation and promote studio growth. It would enhance the independence and commercial viability of game developers and strengthen the prospects for the expansion of the UK video games industry.”
The proposal suggests that eligible developers would need to be based in the UK and be proposing the development of new IP, preferably “innovative in terms of content, gameplay and, where appropriate, business models.”
Indeed, It's TIGA's suggestion that qualifying projects should demonstrate the “potential for commercial success”.
TIGA makes note of the Finnish Government's Tekes funding agency, which has pumped almost $70 million worth of funding into the national development scene since the late 1990s, with Helsinki in particular now standing as a mobile development powerhouse. Indeed, Tekes served up early stage finance to both Supercell and Rovio.
The move by TIGA comes little over a week after rival trade association UKIE published its Manifesto for the next UK Government, calling on the next party in power to better invest in skills in the games industry.