Dated: 23 June 2008
3rd year of initiative that matches new game developers to mentors, publishers financiers
If you think you can create innovative game-play for all audiences and across various platforms, you and your team stand a chance to receive funding of up to S$50,000 to develop game prototypes that can lead to commercialisation under the Media Development Authority’s (MDA) INVIGORATE initiative.
MDA is inviting budding game developers to submit proposals under the initiative between 1 July and 8 August 2008. Launched in 2006, INVIGORATE aims to spur development of innovative video games that can be commercialised for the world market. Previously focused on mobile and casual games, INVIGORATE 2008 will focus on innovative game designs for multi-platform applications. In other words, games that can be played on the Personal Computers (PCs), Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), mobile phones, online and game consoles.
The call will identify 10 project teams to undergo a rigorous programme of product planning, game design and production management training by experienced game professionals in a masterclass environment. The 'gurus' are representatives from established game studios &publishers such as Ubisoft Singapore, Nabi Studios and Boomzap. At the end of the incubation period, the teams are expected to produce a playable game demo by the end of February 2009.
On the initiative, Mr Seto Lok Yin, Assistant CEO (Industry), MDA said: “More than 100 game professionals were involved in previous editions of INVIGORATE. Together they produced some 16 original high quality games in which more than half of these games are now being commercialized targeting markets such as USA, Europe and North Asia. We are pleased that INVIGORATE not only led to new games Intellectual Property (IP) but also creation of new game enterprises and opportunities for talented game developers. We are delighted that international game studios like UbiSoft Singapore graciously offered to play a mentoring role.”
Mr Oliver de Rotalier, Managing Director of Ubisoft Singapore said: “The first dollars to finance a project are often the most critical part of the value chain. Without it, many good ideas remain just as ideas. INVIGORATE is a programme every game developer in the world would like to see in his own country and a very interesting platform for creative and talented people to explore their ideas. The mentoring system helps these people to understand the constraints and the best practices. It is definitely a very good initiative that Ubisoft wants to support.”
Mr Gerald Tock, Director of Nabi Studios which is one of the mentors and a recipient of the initiative in 2007 said: “INVIGORATE is good for the industry because it helps connect stablished professionals to young talent. The mentoring component is essential, especially when you require a fresh approach for your games.”
Another company that has benefited from the scheme is Azukisoft. It is one of the four new game studios spawned out of the initiative and is currently in negotiation to further develop and deploy its game prototype on major casual game portals in the USA.
“Overall, it was a good experience taking part in INVIGORATE, our mentors gave us great advice and shared with us their wealth of experience. It was beneficial and the experience gained helped my studio to secure commercialisation opportunities at the Games Developer Conference in February this year. Given the opportunity, I would definitely want to take part again,” said Mr Gibson Tang, Director of Azukisoft.
INVIGORATE is part of the overall effort in establishing Singapore as the region’s hub for interactive game development. Other initiatives include the setting up of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the establishment of international game studios like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Koei here in Singapore. Backflow, a game prototype which was initially created at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab has since been further developed by the students into a full version mobile game and is now available for download at www.backflowgame.com.
Interested applicants of INVIGORATE are welcome to submit their proposals by post to MDA. Submission details and selection criteria for the initiative can be found in Annex A and further details can be found on the MDA website, www.mda.gov.sg.
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Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
Formed in 2003, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Global Media City and positioning it at the forefront of the digital media age. MDA spearheads initiatives that promote developments in film, video, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation, media services and Interactive Digital Media. At the same time, in ensuring clear and consistent regulatory policies and guidelines, MDA helps to foster a pro-business environment for industry players and increase media choices for consumers. For more information, visit www.mda.gov.sg and www.smf.sg