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The winners of the first round of the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s (DCMS) UK Games Fund have been announced.
Atomicom, Fallen Tree Games and Spilt Milk Studios are among the 24 companies that will receive grants to develop their projects further.
The fund is part of a government focus on UK creative industries such as games, animation and visual effects (VFX) industries, which is now claimed to be worth £84bn to the economy.
“The UK is home to some of the world’s most successful video games, and this cash boost will help these games companies grow their business and create the blockbusters of tomorrow,” said Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy.
The DCMS launched the first round of the UK Games Fund to encourage developers and games studios in the UK to develop current projects into working prototypes of games, as many businesses are unable to secure the funding to develop their ideas.
In October 2015, the DCMS put aside £4m for the project to provide up to £25,000 to fund younger, developing businesses to create games prototypes. It will also provide up to £50,000 to take prototypes further, as well as fund talent development initiatives such as student and graduate games development competitions.
A range of firms won funding in the first round of the fund, including Cardboard Sword, Clever Beans, Coatsink Software, Futurlab, Hewson Consultants, Noble Games, Nosebleed Interactive, Paw Print Games, Plug-in Media, Roll 7, Ruffian Games, Rumpus Animation, Semaeopus, Sensible Object, Six to Start, Slug Disco Studios, Tag Games, The Secret Police, Two Way Media, White Paper Games and Yakuto.
The second round of funding for grants of up to £25,000 are open until mid-day on April 18th 2016.
Read more about the video games industry
The fund will run until 2019, providing grants of up to £50,000 throughout the four-year period to fund development projects and encourage the development of jobs and talent in the sector.
It runs alongside other projects encouraging the creative industries in the UK to thrive, such as tax credit, which allows tax relief for certain creative industries companies.
“The level of creative activity in the UK's games development sector is running at record levels. The 100 plus applications we received to the first round of the UK Games Fund has surpassed any of the rounds in our previous fund,” said Paul Durrant, managing director at UK Games Talent and Finance CIC.
Creativity leads to increased emotional intelligence
“Our new portfolio of supported companies represent the first members of our talent-led movement to build on the UK’s creative strengths in video games development.”
Many have argued that creative and artistic skills are just as important for children to learn as computing skills, leading to the suggestion that the commonly used science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) acronym should also include “art” and be referred to as Steam.
These creative skills lead to an increased emotional intelligence when approaching a task, something it has been suggested children will need in the future as jobs requiring emotional intelligence are less likely to become automated.