German government to establish €50 million game fund in 2019 (Response)
Support for Games Grows World Wide
A recent article by gamesindustry.biz reported that Germany is opening up a $56 million (in USD) fund to attract and support Germain based video game developers and studios. This fund, set to begin in 2019, is a bold and clear attempt to set Germany as a leader in the global economy for this sector.
As the industry continues to beat expectations for growth globally, and communities are trying to both expand their place in technology while attracting young people to their cities/countries, it only stands to reason that we will see more and more public investment into the industry. I’ve mentioned before, but looking at both the games industry and virtual reality, if current trends maintain, they will combine to be close or over a quarter of a TRILLION dollars by the end of 2021. This is a market that a country simply cannot miss out on.
Here in the states it has been exceedingly hard to get support for gaming and creative technology outside of the coasts like California and New York, as well as some small pockets like Austin. This makes it very challenging for new startups and studios to get off the ground since there is no local infrastructure to make that happen. It is my belief that this is more of a cultural problem than a financial one. People in places like Ohio and the Midwest that often control the direction of funds, or public support initiatives simply do not understand or care about the power that this industry has in shaping both the tech and creative landscape of their region. This is seen almost universally through the United States. A clear example of this is looking at funding for the arts in general, but in games specifically. The United States doesn’t consider gaming to be an art form, thus it is ineligible for support grants that other arts forms might receive from the National Endowment of the Arts, or most localized means. Other countries, such as Canada, and many countries in Europe do consider games to be art, and this have a much more robust system in place to help support these efforts. Another example to finish this thought, is that about a year ago, while do some research for an initiative we were working on, we discovered that our studio would qualify for over $1.4 million in grants and support if we were to pick up from Columbus and jump just a few hours north to Toronto.
All this is to say that with such a fast moving, creative, and youth interested sector, the first cities/states/countries to jump into the ring are going to be the ones that can grab the talent first. People in the industry are already looking for ways to have a career doing what they love outside of the US coasts, the places that can help them make that decision attractive are the ones who will ultimately win.
I’m pushing for Columbus, Ohio, and the Midwest to be that place!