Dundee video game studio Proper Games has received a £25,000 grant as part of a £5 million government initiative to bolster the industry in the United Kingdom, reports Develop. Proper Games, best known for developing Capcom's XBLA game Flock, is the first of nine studios that will each receive an equal share of a £225,000 funding round. The other eight studios have yet to be announced.
As part of the grant, Proper Games agrees to work with a team of six students to build one of its upcoming projects for about two months. The goal is to give students a real taste of what real-world video game development entails.
The funding was announced by Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts, who visited the Dundee, Scotland area this week. Abertay University decides who gets the grant money. The Abertay University Prototype Fund aims to create 30 new companies, provide support to another 80 existing smaller businesses, and create up to 400 new jobs.
Willetts said that the UK's "rapidly expanding digital economy is vital for boosting economic growth" and that "Dundee has some of the best computing facilities and talent that the UK has to offer."
“This investment will further boost the sector, giving students the opportunity to gain invaluable experience of working in industry and encouraging the creation of new high-tech jobs and companies," he added.
“The Abertay University Prototype Fund is a very exciting project,” said Abertay business director Paul Durrant. “Proper Games is a very worthy recipient of this UK-wide funding, and they are a great example of the talent in Dundee’s games development cluster – and the huge economic potential this sector has for the whole of Britain.”
“It was a genuine pleasure meeting David Willetts,” said Proper Games CEO Paddy Sinclair. “I feel very proud of how our company has grown over the last few years and I relish such opportunities to tell our story and showcase the quality of work that our talented team are producing. Receiving confirmation of the Prototype Fund investment from Abertay University is really great news and we look forward to getting this project underway."
Willetts also took an extended tour of Abertay University’s environmental science and computer games departments, meeting with researchers who are using computer game technology to learn more about soil science, sustainable environmental planning, and cancer systems biology. Researchers demonstrated how technologies and techniques developed in computer games are being applied to a variety of academic disciplines.