The Spanish games industry will no longer be receiving a €2m grant from the EU intended to energise the region’s economy. The minister for energy, tourism and digital agenda (an eclectic collection of ministerial responsibilities) Álvaro Nadal has refused the funding, according to a report on El Español.
As a result, many Spanish development studios will each go without between €50,000 and €150,000 extra cash, some of which was designated for teams with fewer than five employees. The €2m total was destined for developers who had not yet delivered their first product to market, giving them a safety net for launching a game in an increasingly noisy market. It was intended for this money to fund between 50% and 85% of a project. A considerable loss for the developers in question.
This comes after the secretary of state for culture, Fernando Benzo, hosted the first ‘Video Games Table’ on December 15th, bringing together members of the Spanish games industry to discuss government involvement and funding in the sector. The meeting resulted in a proposal for government subsidies for the games industry by Nadal, which he states is “a sector of strategic importance as an engine of the digital economy, which has great potential for growth and innovation and the best expectations for the future”.
Refusing EU aid in favour of internal government funding seems like a strange decision when the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Sentiment within the Spanish games industry is one of disappointment as a result of the decision to refuse the European Union’s funding as no explanation or reason has been given and projects and new games studios are now at risk.
Spanish developers have released some stellar games in the past. MercurySteam has contributed to legendary franchises like Castlevania and Metroid and high profile indie titles The Sexy Brutale and Rime by Tequila Works were also created in the region. Seville based Fourattic, a studio working on its first title Crossing Souls, seems likely to have been eligible for the funding that has now been cancelled.