Erik Robertson, head of the Nordic Game Program (NGP), says that this is a fantastic indicator of growth in the Nordic games industry, but also that it represents a worrying situation for the funding scheme.
“The number of projects has increased by 50% from the last round, which brings the total for 2010 to a unbelievable record of 228,” he says. “This staggering figure, about four times what we planned for, proves that the Nordic games industry is still very much expanding, but also that it is impossible for the funding scheme to meet the constantly growing demand.”
Of the 136 projects submitted by the 1 October deadline, 38 are from Denmark, 41 from Finland, 11 from Iceland, 17 from Norway and 29 from Swedish game developers. The applicants include small and large companies, start-ups and studios established back in the 1980s.
“We are now beginning to see that the support system is not only in great demand all over the Nordic countries, but also that it does what it’s supposed to,” Robertson continues. “Our experts select high-quality games at an early stage, ones that go on to be successes both with the critics and in terms of sales.”
The latest success story for the NGP is the Xbox Live Arcade hit game Limbo, created by Danish developer PlayDead, who received funding in 2007 and 2008.
“The Nordic Game Program was invaluable to the creation of Limbo. The early support was instrumental in realising one of the hardest steps: a working prototype,” says Mads Wibroe, producer at PlayDead.
“In the harsh climate of games development, the Nordic Game Program is a rare source of support,” he continues. “Indeed, a diverse, creative game-development scene depends upon exactly this kind of committed support – only we need much, much more of it.”
In total, more than DKK 60.7 million was applied for. After six projects received funding in this year’s first round, DKK 3 million remains up for grabs. A panel of experts will evaluate the applications. Successful applicants will be notified immediately after decisions are made on 4 November. The results will be announced to the public at a ceremony in Malmö in December.