Round 9: NOW CLOSED

***Round 9 has NOW CLOSED. The following information is supplied for reference only. All applicants will be contacted in due course.***

How it will work

Established UK-based companies with a game development project at an early stage in the pipeline can apply for grants of up to £25,000. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in mid-August, and funded development work can start from September.

To apply for grant support of up to £25,000, UK-based established independent SME studios must complete a two-stage application to the UK Games Fund: eligible applicants are invited to submit a written application (the link to do so can be found at the bottom of this page) as well as upload a maximum 2 minute pitch video. Guidance on how to put your pitch video together can be downloaded via the link below.

The deadline for submitting both parts of your application is 10:00 Thursday 23rd June. Late submissions cannot be accepted.

If shortlisted, you will be invited to an online interview.

Our previous rounds have always been highly competitive. Typically, we fund around 10% of 150 to 200 applications and we plan to close this round before the closing date if over-subscribed. For that reason, we strongly advise that applications are submitted as soon as they are ready. Late submission cannot be accepted. If you miss this round we will be announcing further rounds later in our financial year.

Don’t be dismayed by the challenge. We’ve already funded over 200 companies so if you have a great team and are confident that you can deliver a great game based on your achievements to date and you plan to grow then your application will stand out.

Your Suitability

We see stronger applications from teams with the following attributes.  Therefore, applicants should consider the following as a baseline regarding suitability for funding:

  • You will have completed some early concept work, and have either a proof-of-concept demo or other visual pre-production work, so that you can show your project in the best light with your pitch video*.
  • You will have a clear idea of what your unique selling point or other market differentiator is – being able to communicate this clearly will help build confidence in your project.
  • You will have a development team that is either in place or is ready to come on board quickly if you are successful – being able to describe the specific attributes of your team helps to prove your overall development capability.
  • Your team should normally have some past experience of completing and shipping a video game project, regardless of the level of success – this doesn’t have to apply to every team member, but past experience has been shown to help broadly in understanding your go-to-market needs.
  • You should have done your research and have a clear idea of what the next steps are beyond the grant – who you will approach to fund the remainder of the project, how you will handle publishing, etc.
  • You should be able to describe the future of your business, how the grant will provide a positive impact on your sustainability and growth as a studio, and what your vision is beyond this individual project.

Your funded project work should be able to start in September 2022 and be complete by March 2023.

The Application Process

  • Eligible applicants are required to complete a written submission along side a max 2 min pitch video. When the written application form is submitted, details on how to name your pitch video file as well as instructions as to how to upload the video will be shared.
  • We strongly recommend that all applicants read through the information below and the downloadable Application Guidance before getting started.
  • The application process is your opportunity to share details of the project, the team, your planned route to market and potential commercial opportunities your project presents to your studio.
  • You will need to have your NUTS code for reference in the written application (you can find that by clicking the button below the tabs).

For Round 9 of the UK Games Fund, eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applications will only be accepted from registered UK-based companies.
  • Companies must have fewer than 50 employees.
  • The scale of development will be such that our support and grant will represent no more than 50% of the total costs of the project once it has been released.
  • Your project must not include gambling elements or mechanisms which could be perceived as such, or any content that we deem to be potentially reputationally damaging (solely at our discretion).
  • Games associated with emergent business models with little evidence of success are unlikely to be funded until that evidence base can be demonstrated. For more context, see our news article here.
  • Your project should be a digital game suitable for demonstration at a public consumer event (should you be invited).
  • Your project can already be in development, although we don’t support projects that have already fully launched, and do not fund work carried out prior to the grant being offered.
  • Projects following an open-development model with a live build available in a pre-release form will still be considered (but typically we don’t fund pure DLC development for a title already launched).

Applicants give us authorisation to undertake credit and other due diligence checks.

The maximum grant we are offering is £25,000 for approved employment costs of UK-based employees and UK-based contractors.

Monthly claims will generally be capped at £6,000, but successful applicants can use their own resources above and beyond that if necessary.

Applications must be completed and submitted by 10:00 on Thursday 23rd June.

  • Once submitted, the applicant will be notified via both web confirmation and email of a unique application number. This is important – make a note of it.
  • All applicants will be invited to upload a 2 minute pitch video following submission of the written application (your pitch video must be ready for upload at the time of submission).
  • Applicants are required to upload the PITCH video to Dropbox (no account required) using the naming convention: COMPANY NAME_APPLICATION NUMBER.

Applications will be filtered for eligibility and assessed, with a shortlist of applicants invited to attend online video interviews with the UK Games Fund panel.

If your application is shortlisted, you will be invited to a short online interview with the UK Games Fund review panel. These will be held mid-August with the exact date and time slots confirmed via email invite to the shortlisted applicants.

If awarded a support from the UK Games Fund, portfolio companies may only claim for approved employment costs for UK-based employees and UK-based contractors declared on your application form.

For the avoidance of doubt that means:

  • Gross pay costs of UK-domiciled employees paid through PAYE evidenced by payslips and bank statement entries.
  • Employers NI costs of UK domiciled employees paid through PAYE evidenced by remittance advice to HMRC and bank statement entries.
  • Detailed UK-domiciled contractor invoices exclusive of VAT (if you aren’t VAT registered you can claim the VAT element subject to agreeing with us and providing appropriate evidence) evidenced by invoice and bank statement entry showing payment.
  • We’ll expect employee and contractor charge out rates to be consistent with industry norms and any inflated rates will require multi-year evidence of salary etc. rates.
  • No costs of any other nature will be approved. Including such costs in your application for grant money could result in negative scoring in your application.

Our grants are non-repayable. Provided all grant conditions are met during and after the project, cash repayment of grant will not be required.

However, we ask that in acceptance of the grant your company commit to contribute senior staff time as a mentor, judge, reviewer or speaker in support of your peers at a later mutually convenient date. This time contribution is likely to be between 10 to 15 days for a £25,000 grant in the two years following the project. Where travel is involved your travel expenses will be met in accordance with our reimbursement policies in force at the time. In addition, all executive directors of funded companies will be expected to make a public pledge to re-invest a fair and reasonable proportion of any significant returns in talent / IP development for the UK games ecosystem via the UK Games Fund on a discretionary basis, should their company benefit disproportionately as a result of this support.

Find your NUTS Code

Find out which code you will need to use in your application form here.

Successful Applicants

If successful, you will be required to confirm that you can provide the following:

  • Your HMRC PAYE registration details and employer reference number.
  • Assurance that for any work on the funded project directors will pay themselves via PAYE (no dividends, director’s loan repayments, connected contractor invoices etc accepted).
  • A valid International Subsidy declaration in a form we’ll provide, taking into account the scale of funding applied for. Declarations require you to confirm other sources of public funding and when combined with a grant from us that they don’t breach limits for the time being in force.
  • Enough working capital to cover 6 weeks expenditure on the project upfront.
  • We may require you to complete an IP Housekeeping Audit (we’ll show you how).
  • Company profile information and data to help build a detailed picture of the games development sector in the UK.
  • You will need at least 6 weeks of working capital to enable you to draw down the grant, which must be claimed monthly after incurring and defraying your costs. Grant claims are paid in arrears monthly.

You should only apply if you can provide the above.

You must be ready to start work on your funded project with one month (4 weeks) of issue of a formal Offer Letter of Grant from the UK Games Fund.

Unsuccessful applicants

No correspondence will be entered into and there is no appeal.

In some cases, we may suggest re-applying to future funding calls after you’ve addressed highlighted issues in which case we’ll give some general guidance at the time of application. 

FAQs

If you’ve got any further questions, please refer to our FAQs.

📰 Portfolio Progress Update 📰 Our community of funded companies have recently launched games, Kickstarted crowdfunding campaigns and grown in size. "The funding gave us the critical time we need to build and polish the game." More here: bit.ly/3bwipU0 pic.twitter.com/q2gXoj0wLN

About 5 days ago from UK Games Fund's Twitter