The UK Games Fund will receive an additional $5m uplift, as part of a larger initiative to increase the level of support creative industries in the UK receive.
With this increase, the UK Games Fund will now have over £13.4m in funding each year. The UK Games fund functions to support the early-stage development of studios and developers, as well as to support the broader interactive entertainment industry. It helps new video game developers to work their ideas into functioning prototypes and then to showcase them to investors.
UK Games Fund CEO, Paul Durrant, said, “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.”
Will it be enough?
Although a relatively modest amount compared to the amount of money we regularly see trading hands and being invested in the broader video game business, it’s undeniable that this £5m will be a big boost to smaller, early-stage studios and development teams. Although some facets of the industry will likely call for further support, it still indicates that the boost the video game industry can provide to the broader UK economy is known by the government, and hopefully that continued consulting and consideration will be a part of this acknowledgement.
Adding to this, reactions from the industry itself have been broadly positive. Co-CEO of video games trade body UKIE, Daniel Wood said, “The games industry welcomes the Secretary of State’s ambition to boost the creative industries. Today’s vision cements what we have always said that the UK games industry is an engine of economic growth - creating high quality jobs across the whole of the UK, contributing over £5 billion in GVA with 80 per cent outside London and Southeast.”
“We are also pleased to see that the government continues to recognise the importance of the country’s games industry and is committing an additional £5 million to the UK Games Fund. Today’s announcement of additional funding will support even more UK games businesses to scale up by accessing the finance they need to create the next generation of games, whilst also developing the innovative and original content a global audience of billions love.”