Despite running out of money last year, the Nordic Game Program has announced additional development support of one million Danish crowns (DKK) for five Nordic game projects in 2015.
The overall plan is to continue the funding program from 2016 and onwards, and while this year’s support round is smaller compared to earlier years and has a particular set of criteria attached to it, it ensures that Nordic developers will not experience an application gap before the full program hopefully resumes next year.
”It is very hard, as the Nordic Council of Ministers saw this program round – 2012 to 2015 – as the last time to support Nordic video games. In other words, it does not look good right now,” said Danish Producers Association director Klaus Hansen. ”It is not only about developing new games, but the Nordic Game conference, export activities – most recently in connection with GDC – and a series of industry analyses are in danger. What puzzles me the most right now is that the Danish minister for culture has declined to help prolonging the program. But all the Nordic producer associations are working very hard on that, so there is still hope.”
Only one project per applicant will be considered, and support for each of the five projects is fixed at 200,000 DKK and cannot exceed 75 per cent of the total product budget.
“The Nordic Game Institute (NGI) has an arm’s length relationship with the Nordic Game Program – that has been a very clear and legitimate demand from the Nordic Council of Ministers from the beginning. The games industry represented in the NGI (such as the Danish Producers Association) should not distribute money to its own members. NGI is just an administrator of that money – we are notified about who is eligible for support, and NGI pays,” Hansen explained, who is also NGI chairman.
In reality, the game support program was de facto cancelled last year, but when one million DKK in unspent funds became available, it was decided to run another round together with the Nordic Council of Ministers, with the smaller funding amount.
This year’s support program also comes with a set of prioritised criteria to keep the amount of applications proportionate with the year’s funds. Aside from the projects having a solid foundation in Nordic cultural traditions, applicants also must guarantee that their final projects will be released in at least one Nordic language. Other criteria include pre-schoolers as a target demographic and character diversity.
”Because of the arm’s length principle, we asked the (Nordic Game Program) expert group – which decides who receives support – to suggest criteria that take into account the very limited funds available,” said Hansen. “We did not want to have too many companies start producing applications with a great chance of them being declined. Therefore, we ended up with the very restrictive limitations in this – for now – very last application round. The expert group will define what ’Nordic cultural traditions’ is – but it is a sound guess that familiar Nordic universes stand a good chance.”
The application deadline is midnight, Wednesday 1 April. Read more here.