At a meeting of the Spanish Association of Production Companies and Developers of Videogames and Entertainment Software (handily shortened to DEV), a White Paper was released that painted a concerning picture of the Spanish games industry. While turnover grew 16% in 2017, 30 game development studios closed down and at least 90 more “lack economic activity” according to Spanish newspaper El País.
The White Paper outlines DEV’s reason to believe that this situation will not get better in the short term, with more studios closing before things get better. It states that “the consolidation of the sector is affecting both small and medium-sized companies, on the one hand, it is a necessary process, which will make the number of companies more sustainable. The main factors that are driving this resizing are due to structural problems that also impede the growth of companies.”
Secretary of State for the Information Society and Digital Agenda, José María Lassalle, was in attendance at the presentation and surprised attendees with a pledge to fix the situation by offering extensive funding for game developers in Spain. €6.25m will be put aside for video game studios, the self employed and small/medium sized businesses which turnover less than €2m annually.
These grants will be capped at €150,000 and will cover around 80% of the development costs of a project for a team of five people (this is likely a lower limit) and an average development time of two years. A substantial amount that will help invigorate the local games economy as it currently stands.
Businesses will need to have been active for at least six months to qualify for these grants and an independent committee will be set up to decide who will receive the funding.