The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Germany announced last year that it was implementing a new funding programme for game development that had been inspired by the UK’s own Video Games Tax Relief fund. Now, the German Games Industry Association, game, has announced the scheme has been notified by the European Commission.
The Ministry was commissioned by the country’s parliament, the German Bundestag, to develop a €50 million games funding programme “to promote computer game development in Germany” last year. Just like the French and UK initiatives that have inspired the project, recipients will be required to apply, and pass, a cultural test to their games to qualify for the non-repayable subsidy of “between 25 and 50 per cent”, depending upon the scope and size of the game. The Ministry hopes to have the funding in place in the next few months.
“Good news from Brussels: With the EU notification the funding programme for games has taken a final hurdle,” said Felix Falk, managing director of game, the German Games Industry Association. “Now the precise details for the application must be clarified. After close collaboration between the games industry and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure on the so-called De-minimis-funding we are more than confident, that the start of the major funding directive will go well.”
The funding has been introduced to “reduce Germany’s major competitive disadvantages in computer game development” when compared to other countries such as France, the UK, and Canada, “which have been funding their local games industries for many years”. As it stands, development in Germany is thought to be around 30 per cent more expensive, so consequently “the share of German game productions in the domestic market has been falling for years, despite the strong growth of the games market”.
While this is only half of what the UK’s Video Game Tax Relief paid out last year, it’ll be interesting to see how this new fund impacts EU development, particularly that of a post-Brexit UK.