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Nordic Game Funding Program Gets Record Number Of Applicants

The Nordic Game Program, which subsidizes funding of select games, said it received a record 170 applications in 2009 -- but that demand is now far outstripping the organization's current level of funding.
The Nordic Game Program, which subsidizes funding of select games developed in the Nordic region, said it received 84 applications in the second application round of 2009, bringing the total for the year up to a record 170. While program head Erik Robertson said the group is "extremely pleased with the attention, the confidence the industry has shown in us, and the strong support that our activities have so clearly built," the increasing number of applications means Nordic Game's existing funding is becoming insufficient to adequately serve demand. The number of applications received is now more than five times what the organization was designed to evaluate. Established in 2006, Nordic Game has a planned six-year mandate, of which it is on its fourth. This year, a total of DKK 3 million (US$600,000) is available to the games selected for funding. In 2009's first round of 86 applications, six games were awarded. The second round's 84 applications came from five countries; Sweden generated the most with 32, followed by Finland with 26, Denmark with 17, Norway with six, and Iceland with three. Robertson made a pointed comparison to governmental game development assistance in certain other countries, claiming that Canada and France offer 10 to 20 times as much game funding per capita. And even within the larger umbrella of Nordic cultural funding, games have a relatively tough time -- they have, by a considerable margin, the lowest ratio of successful grant applications, with only 12 percent of games able to receive funding, versus 52 percent of film and television applications. "It was essential to cope with the administrative burden generated by the industry’s overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the culture-policy initiative behind our programme," Robertson said. "But our funding only amounts to a tenth of that available to traditional media from Nordic sources." Selected developers will be announced in early November.

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