The Flanders government has set aside €750,000 to shore up the production of games in Flanders. The newly launched Game Fund aims to support and encourage Flemish game developers in the production or development of different types of games. The fund, which will be set up as a department within the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), was initiated by Media Minister Lieten and Education Minister Smet.
Studies show that over 50% of people in Flanders regularly play video games. 'The importance of gaming as a medium should not be underestimated,' said Minister Lieten. 'Gaming has established itself in a firm fourth place, after radio, TV and internet, as a part of daily media consumption.’ As the gaming industry continues to grow, she added, it was important to recognise the importance of ‘giving this creative sector an additional boost and encouraging quality and diversity in both entertainment and serious gaming’.
Talking about the increasingly significant role that gaming can play in education, Minister Smet also noted that ‘research clearly indicates that a lot of teachers still need convincing when it comes to using games as a learning tool. The cooperation between educational publishers and game developers should help to break that barrier.’
One of the aims of the newly launched Game Fund is to encourage and consolidate the current creativity and energy in the Flemish gaming industry. Furthermore, it should add to the sector’s professionalism, reach a wide audience and provide opportunities for original and innovative creations. The Game Fund will be set up within the Flanders Audiovisual Fund under CEO Pierre Drouot, who commented that, ‘This is an important first step in the development of the gaming industry and a real boost for game developers in Flanders.’
The Game Fund currently has a budget of €750,000 and support three types of games: entertainment games, educational serious games and non-educational serious games.