The IGDA Foundation, the charitable arm of the International Game Developers Association, has teamed up with Grant for the Web to launch a $300,000 fund that aims to empower marginalized developers and students.
It's pitched as a multifaceted program; the Diverse Game Developers Fund aims to back game devs and students with funding and scholarships, but also wants to encourage developers to explore different monetization methods within games built using its funding.
According to the IGDA Foundation's application, diverse developers around the world are eligible for up to $25,000 to help fund prototypes that explore monetization that, according to a press release, has global applicability rather than "traditional models of revenue generation built by and for a western audience."
Organizers expect to direct at least $200,000 of the initiative's funds toward this goal, with another $50,000 reserved for academic scholarships for students from marginalized backgrounds, and any remaining money set aside for prizes in a future game jam.
A "steering committee" of 12 industry experts, including Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail, Game Jolt CEO and co-founder Yaprak DeCarmine, and former Microsoft Game Publishing VP Ed Fries, has been set up to oversee the fund and direct its disbursements across those three areas.
"Grant for the Web and the IGDA Foundation both seek to empower devs and users in the realm of technology," reads a statement from IGDA-F executive director Nika Nour. "In a world where traditional investment funding isn’t equally available to all, this initiative will allow us to support marginalized game developers around the globe while educating the community on alternative monetization models they may not have considered.”
More info on how to apply for either prototype funding or academic scholarships can be found here, while the IGDA Foundations says that details on that game jam will be announced at a later date.