British trade alliance Game Republic and regional screen agency Screen Yorkshire have unveiled a new method for gaining concept approval from hardware manufacturers, which has already attracted support from hardware creators SCEE (PS2, PSP), Microsoft Europe (Xbox), and Nokia (N-Gage), as well as publishers including Take-Two, SCi, Konami, HIP Interactive and Zoo Digital.
The Game Republic Integrated Prototype Production (GRIPP) aims to provide developers with hardware manufacturer concept approval and guidance, prior to full development. Currently, developers and publishers have had to rely on hardware manufacturer approval somewhat later in development, after sometimes significant budget has been expended.
Under the scheme, games are submitted to the program prior to any development taking place, through a simple process which is standardized for all formats. If it receives approval at this stage, it will be eligible for funding through a partnership with Game Republic, Screen Yorkshire and supporting publishers.
Game Republic (not to be confused with the Japanese developer of the same name, recently launched by ex-Capcom boss Yoshiki Okamoto) and Screen Yorkshire will provide additional support for attending trade events, R&D support and training throughout the project.
Andrew Parsons, general manager of third party relations at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, commented: "SCEE is keen to actively encourage the spirit of innovation and imagination within the development community and are very happy to be able to support this initiative by Game Republic in creating an opportunity to nurture the creation of new experiences for PlayStation consumers."
Adrian Curry, Xbox account manager, added: "Microsoft is a keen supporter of the Integrated Prototype Production Pilot. It's something the industry has needed for years, and we're delighted to be one of the launch partners. It's important for the Xbox that ideas are given the opportunity and backing to reach fruition and it's important for the development community that they have the confidence in their projects at an early stage. GRIPP does all this and more and we're confident it will be an unqualified success."