New proposal suggest an increase in both direct and indirect support to the Danish games industry
In the lead up to the coming negociations about the Danish political film agreement, which includes the national game funding program, the leading opposition party has now come out in clear support of increasing the aid for games.
In a proposal for the upcoming agreement, the leading opposition party, and biggest Danish political party overall, Venstre (Liberal Party), states that the funding support for developing new computer games should be increased, and that the industy should get additional support in order to also be able to reach new investors abroad.
Games for both console, computer and smartphone is a growing business […] We should prioritize support for the development of new games, so the Danish games industry will be appealing to the rest of the world.
Venstres spokesperson on culture, Michael Aastrup Jensen, tells Nordic Game Bits, that the funding for the increased focus on games should come from savings in other parts of the film agreement. Venstre has suggested a 5 % saving in the costs of running the Danish Film Institute, closing the institute’s own arthouse cinema, Cinemateket, as well as producing fewer short films. That being said, Aastrup Jensen is reluctant to give out any precise numbers as it is not yet know exactly how much would be saved by implementing the suggested cuts.
But there is no doubt, that what we want is a significant increase in support for the development of computer games. And an increase especially with regard to venture capital.
Aastrup Jensen points to his experiences when talking to local developers, that it’s the funding for the first few games, that is the hardest to find. An ailment that the new proposal is aimed at curing. According to Aatrup Jensen, the current options for public backed venture capital, such as Vækstfonden, do not have the nessecary understading or knowledge to supply this venture capital, and alternatives are therefore needed
Read more about: How the Danish film agreement could help Nordic Game funding program
Another priority in the proposal is an increased support to not fund the game development directly, but to help Danish developers reach international investors as well.
“People in the buisness today need someone to help them, someone to facilitate applying for funding in these international spaces,” he says.
The wish to increase support for game development stems from the recognition that games are one of the only areas showing huge increases, in an otherwise growth-deprived Danish economy, explains Aastrup Jensen. “We should focus on this, and strike while the iron is hot,” he says to Nordic Game Bits. “Denmark has some unique skills in a range of areas associated with the production of computer games, that it would be completely absurd not to try and invest some money in.”
Aastrup Jensen tells Nordic Game Bits, that he believes, that the Danish games industry could become as big as Sweden’s, with the proper support.
The new film agreement is to be negociated in the coming weeks, and will decide the budgets for the Danish Film Institute and its various support programs for the coming 4 years.