Welsh Government and Microsoft team up to support games developers in Wales

The Welsh Government and tech giant Microsoft have teamed up together to launch a pilot project aimed at supporting start-up games developers in Wales.

Greenshoots, as it’s being called, will provide four games development firms with a grant of £25,000 to build new titles and will receive expert support from Microsoft.

A similar incubation programme was launched by Microsoft and Creative England two years ago and has since run several cohorts for game developers in England looking for funding and support.

Successful applicants will get access to £25,000 of funding and Microsoft’s BizSpark programme, which will support them with state-of-the-art development software, expert guidance, technical advice and an introduction to potential investors.

They’ll retain their intellectual property and, while obligated to build for Microsoft to leverage the technical benefits, are also encouraged to build apps for other platforms.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “The games industry is worth around £1billion to the UK economy and a rapidly growing key sector within the creative industries in Wales offering well paid sustainable jobs.

“It’s an area we are actively supporting through a number of initiatives including this pilot with Microsoft, which offers opportunities for successful applicants to work with, and benefit from, one of the industry giants.”

Liam Kelly, general manager of developer experience at Microsoft UK, said:“Microsoft is vested in the growth of the UK Game Industry and more importantly in the commercial success of the Indie Game Developer community.

“We are excited to bring Greenshoots to Wales, to see the Welsh Game Developer community benefit from the programme and look forward to seeing new games as they are released.”

The Welsh Government and Microsoft will jointly review applications, and developers have until September 25th to apply for the scheme. Games will need to be delivered by March 2016 with view to showcasing in May 2016.

Image credit: Vancouver Film School/Flickr