With two million Danish crowns now available for the first time to Nordic game developers, no less than 55 Nordic game companies have applied to the Nordic Game Program for development funding.
The Nordic Game Program is a part of the cultural cooperation between the Nordic countries and is financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The application deadline for Nordic development support was Friday, 30 June, and early in the day it was clear that the number of participating companies far exceeded expectations.
"We knew that a number of Nordic companies were planning to apply, but 55 applications nonetheless far exceeds our hopes," Erik Robertson, leader of Nordic Game Program, comments. "It proves that there is indeed a great need for developer support, and it's also a positive indication of the fast growth of the gaming industry in the Nordic Region."
The developer support program is directed at Nordic game companies and aims to improve the availability of computer games with a strong Nordic component for children and young people in the Nordic region. Thus a number of requirements must be met to be granted support: applicants must be incorporated, independent and Nordic-owned, and the game to be funded must be released in at least one of the Nordic languages.
"It's wonderful that so many game companies in our region are thinking Nordic, and gratifying to see applications from almost every part of the Nordic region," says Erik Robertson. "The program has received contributions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and even Greenland."
In the upcoming month, a group of experts from all the Nordic countries will evaluate the received projects, and finally award 2 million Danish crowns to between 5-10 applicants. The funded projects will then be presented to the public on several occasions, among them the Nordic Game 2006 game industry conference, to be held in MalmÃ¶, Sweden on the 19-20 September (www.nordicgame.com).
The Nordic Game Program was launched on 1 January 2006, inaugurating a planned six-year project to improve the supply and availability of Nordic computer games for Nordic consumers, and including support for the Nordic game industry. The developer support program is a key part of this project, and support funding is planned to expand annually from this year's 2 million Danish crowns to 10 million Danish crowns in 2011 (www.nordicgameprogram.org).