Creative sectors trade body Creative England, in partnership with Microsoft, has today detailed a new funding and technical support initiative for small studios in the first years of their company development.
The Greenshoots programme offers a pool of £25,000 each for up to 10 studios still under five years of age, to be used for the development and promotion of a single game for mobile and tablet devices. Supported by the UK's Regional Growth Fund, it is available to a number of regions throughout England.
“Developing Greenshoots with Microsoft is a great way of us working directly with industry to help the next generation of game developers reach their commercial and creative potential," said Creative England head of games and digital Mmedia, Jaspal Sohal (pictured).
“Creative England is committed to supporting games start-ups with funding and expertise, and helping to create the conditions necessary for the most innovative companies to flourish.”
“Microsoft is committed to helping the independent games industry in the UK and we’re delighted to be involved with this partnership with Creative England," added Anand Krishnan, senior director of Microsoft UK. "Greenshoots is just one part of Microsoft’s ongoing support programme to foster new talent.”
Though Microsoft are backing the initiative by offering access to technology, and the likes of cloud back-end and business support, Greenshoots does not limit developers to Microsoft platforms.
As long as the titles see Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 release, they can also target the likes of iOS and Android. Those that offer the Windows platforms a period of exclusivity or distinct content will, however, be eligible for additional marketing support.
"The Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting Creative England to give small business the chance to exploit new opportunities in the creative and technology sectors," concluded Michael Fallon, the UK's business and enterprise Minister.
"This will help business link with experienced leaders to help them grow, create jobs and stimulate private sector investment for the UK economy."
The program is only available in these English regions: North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol and Bath.
For more details on Greenshoots, and to apply, visit the initiative's official website. And keep an eye out for the October print issue of Develop, which includes a special spotlight on the programme.