The Malta Digital Games Fund (MDGF) - which aims to encourage the creation of digital games by small companies and groups of individuals based in Malta – has been relaunched in a new programme by Arts Council Malta.
The fund also aims to support Malta-based creative talent that demonstrates long-term potential in game development, strengthen digital games as a cultural product and promote Malta as a hub for digital design and innovation.
According to KPMG’s report Malta’s Digital Gaming Industry, by September 2014, some 30 digital game developing companies were registered in Malta ranging from AAA game developers to Indie game developers. Of these, 18 developers create indie games through individuals or small teams generally without video game publisher financial support.
The newly-revamped fund will support casual games on mobiles, online, PC, social and short-form console games and browser games. Proposals will be evaluated according to five criteria: these include the innovation and creativity of the concept; the feasibility to complete the development in the set time-frame; the competence of the team; sound financial planning and the market potential of the game.
The MDGF programme was restructured following a commissioned study to maximise the use of funds; provide upcoming developers with access to expertise and mentoring to improve their artistic, technical and financial skills; and give participants post-development opportunities.
From the applications received, four proposals will be shortlisted to proceed to the first phase of the programme. These will be awarded up to €10,000 each to develop a playable demo which will be pitched in a competition that will take place in conjunction with the Malta International GameJam next year. The winning game, selected by a jury of national and international judges, will be awarded up to €35,000 to complete the game during the second phase of the programme. The runners-up will be awarded €2,500 each towards the marketing of the project for alternative sources of funding such as finding potential publishers, sponsors, or putting the game on a crowd-funding platform.
ACM will be collaborating with the University of Malta through TAKEOFF Business Incubator who will be handling the mentoring aspect of the fund. Through this collaboration, funded projects shall have a tailor-made mentoring programme and free access to business incubation facilities offered by TAKEOFF Business Incubator.
Applications are now open and guidelines are available at http://www.artscouncilmalta.org/funds/malta-digital-games-fund. For more information contact Arts Council Malta on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 2339 7020 during office hours. Arts Council Malta will be accepting applications for the Malta Digital Games Fund until 13th July 2016, noon.