Back in 2010, the university of Abertay started its “Prototype Fund”, which supported small games developers within four years. Peter Van Der Watt, founder of Blazing Griffin, an indie game studio located in Edinburgh, says: “The Prototype Fund came at exactly the right time for us in terms of building the team and portfolio. This support and the confidence the grant provided was instrumental in us securing significant additional working capital for the company”.
In July 2015, the government of the United Kingdom announced that it will be investing £4 million in order to help starting businesses within the industry, thus resuming Abertay’s initiative. The “Video Game Prototype Fund” will be offering grants of up to £25,000 to support young firms in their endeavors, and up to £50,000 to handpicked prototypes in order to take them to the next big step. Ed Vaizey, the minister for culture and the Digital Economy said: “Britain’s video games punch well above their weight internationally and we need to build on this and invest in the strength of our creativity. This fund will give small businesses, startups and individuals the support they need to better attract private investment and go on to create the blockbusters of tomorrow”.
The UK has, indeed, been the home of some major releases such as the Batman: Arkham series (London’s Rocksteady Studio) and Grand Theft Auto V (Edinburgh’s Rockstar Studio). Furthermore, the games industry contributes a considerable amount to the UK economy. It engenders approximately £4.5 million a day and it is the source of more than 19,000 jobs. Over the next four years, the grants will be expanded to offices in Dundee and London in the hopes of enticing creativity and employment.