VAF/GAME will probably be the first public institution our local game studios turn to in order to secure funding. While they go a long way to support promising Flemish games, don’t forget there’s more funding options out there, such as the Creative Europe Media grant.
The European Commission has published a new call (link in Dutch) for ‘Supporting Video Games’ to promote the development of video game concepts or projects intended for commercial exploitation on the European and international market. The deadline for this call is February 12, 2020.
This year the European Commission provides a total budget of € 3,78 million. Applicants can ask for a grant between € 10.000 and € 150.000 but the contribution can’t exceed 50% of the total development cost.
The applicant must be located in an eligible country (link in Dutch only) and have a proven track record (defined as release of at least one game that was commercially distributed during the two years preceding the call i.e. January 1, 2018). Only legal bodies that have their offices in Europe and that own the majority of the rights related to the submitted project can apply. Individuals, groups of companies and legal bodies acting in the public interest (e.g. universities, foundations …) may NOT apply for a grant.
The games are judged by independent experts on overall quality, originality, innovation and creative value. Besides that there must be a commercial drive behind the project. Of note: all games require a narrative component, but your game doesn’t have to revolve around the story. Games that value gameplay over story, like Trine 3 or SteamWorld Heist have been funded in previous years.
To be able to participate, you must first register yourself and your organisation with the European database. Once you have done this, you can submit your application. Online submissions can be sent until Februay 12, 2020, 5 PM CET. You can start your registration (link in Dutch) right now. The lovely people over at EGDF, European Games Developer Federation, were so kind to create this wicked checklist to see if you’re eligibile for a grant and to clarify what you need to include in your application (this list dates from 2019 call but it still provides helpful guidelines for 2020 call). And it never hurts to take a look at this guide for applicants either.
FISHING FOR SUCCESS
Fishing Cactus is the national champion when it comes to European funding. The Mons based studio has been granted funding for two consecutive years now, € 77.000 for Nanotale – Typing Chronicles in 2018 and € 138.000 for project Wormworld this year. If more Belgian developers would take a shot at it (there have never been more than three Belgian entries), we’d for sure be looking at more success stories. So be confident, throw out a line and who knows you’ll end up with quite a catch. Good luck!