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Spanish indies win major funding boost

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Industry body announces cash injection for small development teams

The Red Strings Club
The Red Strings Club from Spain’s Deconstructeam

The Spanish government today provided a major boost to the country’s independent developers, confirming a €6.5 million grant to game makers.

Last week, news emerged that Spain’s minister of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, Álvaro Nadal had canceled a much-needed European Union grant. A report in El País today said the grant was simply stalled due to managerial turnover at the game industry’s main negotiating organization, the DEV.

Games companies with an annual turnover of less than €2 million a year can apply for up to €150,000 in funding. They must have been in business for more than six months. More details will be announced next month.

The grant was announced at a presentation in Madrid, attended by DEV representatives and game industry personnel. The DEV issued its annual white paper on the state of the Spanish game industry, which focused on how important investment is to the sector.

Industry-wide income grew by 21 percent in the last year, up to €621 million. There are 450 companies operating in the Spanish game industry, although 90 of those have yet to generate any revenues. Thirty Spanish game developers went under last year.

Game developers in Madrid greet the news of a major grant (Jan. 2018)
Game developers in Madrid greet the news of a major grant
Ivan Fernandez Lobo

According to the report. more than half of gaming revenues in Spain go to a tiny number of companies, mostly foreign. Private investors are unwilling to take a risk on small teams of young developers.

However, the Spanish indie scene is vibrant. This year will see the release of promising Spanish games including The Red Strings Club from Valencia-based Deconstructeam, Do not Feed the Monkeys from Madrid-based Fictiorama Studios, Crossing Souls from Fourattic in Seville and Blasphemous from The Game Kitchen, also in Seville.

“The future of our industry depends, to a large extent, on the success of independent studies and the employment that we can generate for future professionals,” said Luis Quintans, president of the DEV. “We therefore need both public and private initiatives to grow this important pool of great talent so that we achieve an industry capable of undertaking the large projects that will position us in the place we merit.”