Train2Game News Scottish Games Company Receives Big Funding

Blazing Griffin, a digital entertainment group, today announced it has completed its Series ‘A’ round, raising £5 million led by private investors and matched by the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.
The funds will be used to help support the group’s continued growth and to expand its game development portfolio, film output and post production services.

This latest round of funding builds on 5 years of substantial growth and an exciting year ahead for Blazing Griffin. From its current capacity of 30 staff, the group plans to use this investment to treble its headcount over the upcoming months.

Blazing Griffin is working on a number of on-going and unannounced game development projects. Following the launch of The Ship: Remasted and coupled with the investment, the games studio plans to build at least two new development teams.

The film department recently announced the start of principal photography for its first feature film project, Anna And The Apocalypse, starring Ella Hunt and Paul Kaye and backed by Creative Scotland. Blazing Griffin has many exciting licensed and original properties for film and TV in development with world-class talent and production partners, and is supported by slate development funding.

Building on their achievements and through the work on high profile shows, the post production team have created a new facility in Glasgow, with 4K delivery capabilities, to service UK-wide and international projects, specialising in remote workflows with international and UK partners – the first of its kind in Scotland.

“Having the hard work of all The Griffins be recognised in this way is an awesome feeling. I can’t wait for people to see everything we’re currently working on and very much looking forward to sharing all of our plans over the next couple of weeks and months.” said Managing Director, Peter van der Watt, “We all appreciate the continued support and confidence our investors and Scottish Enterprise have in our ambitious plan to become one of Scotland’s largest entertainment companies.”

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

“Scottish Enterprise has been working with Blazing Griffin for over three years during which we have seen the company go from a fledgling games development studio to a diversified digital entertainment group” said Kerry Sharp, head of SIB, “Following on from our initial investment in February 2015, we are delighted to again support the group’s growth plans and, capitalising on the talented team it continues to build in Scotland, look forward to seeing the company create brilliant content across its games, film and post production portfolio that will be enjoyed by a global audience”.

Train2Game News UK Games Fund

​Consider yourself the next Kojima? Ready to become the next Rocksteady? Maybe you’ve got the skills to become a future Meier?
UK games developers could be in with a chance of securing up to £25,000 of government funding, as the hunt begins to find the UK’s next big video game.

The UK Games Fund is inviting developers to apply for the grants in a bid to support video games projects and help develop new talent.

The fund, which in now its third round, has so far helped 50 developers from across the nation see their gaming dreams transformed into reality thanks to more than £1.3m in government grants. 

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock MP said:

“The UK is a world leader when it comes to making video games, and we’re determined to make sure this continues long into the future.

“Our UK Games Fund has already helped many young games companies turn prototypes into a reality. Together with the Government’s video games tax reliefs this shows how we’re supporting this dynamic sector to attract further investment and new talent.”

The UK’s video games sector plays a vital role in the country’s thriving creative industries, which contributes £84 billion to the economy.

Video games developer Sensible Object, who successfully applied for funding from the first round of the UK Games Fund, have brought their game “Beasts of Balance” to life thanks to the government grant. About to be launched in retailers including John Lewis, “Beasts of Balance” is an ambitious mixture of a physical tabletop and digital game in which players stack beast-shaped pieces into a balancing tower that’s scanned by a connected smartphone or tablet.

On a visit to the Sensible Object studios in Somerset House, the Minister was shown how the developers have developed their designs and are now bringing them to market.

Alex Fleetwood, Sensible Object founder, said:

“Launching any venture is fraught with risks, but creative businesses like game companies come with even more challenges and the UK Games Fund is a very timely form of support for those that hope to grow and succeed in that area.

“The fund is well-run, straightforward to apply for, and clear in its decision-making, making it a valuable asset to game companies like ours and the industry as a whole.”

The Government’s UK Games Fund is aimed at supporting new video games businesses, encouraging talent, accelerating growth in regional games clusters and complements UK’s video games tax relief. Many small businesses lack the capital to help develop their ideas and attract private investment. The Fund has been created to help bridge that gap and help developers take their ideas from the drawing board and into production.

Paul Durrant, head of the UK Games Fund, said: “We’re really excited about this funding round, given the high demand and the quality of projects we’ve seen so far. It’s also good to see the success stories arising from our support. Sensible Object’s rapid progress shows just what we can achieve when we assist the UK’s top games development talent.”

  Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie,  said: “The UK is home to some of the world’s best and brightest creative games talent, and support from the UK Games Fund has already helped many projects get a much needed boost towards development and funding. The fantastic games that have already emerged from previous rounds shows what a huge asset this fund is to the games sector in the UK, and Ukie is proud to continue supporting the project through this next round.”

To apply for funding visit: ukgamesfund.com

Train2game News Jay and Silent Bob Game Funding

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Jump into the shoes of Lunch Box and Mr. Snoogans! The team at Interabang Entertainment is making a Jay and Silent Bob video game, called Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch!

Longtime fans of Kevin Smith’s Askew-niverse, the Interabang team is creating a game that captures the satire and irreverence of the movies and brings back the tone of the gone-before-its-time Clerks cartoon series. To kick off the project, Interabang Entertainment and Fig Publishing are giving fans a chance to get involved through a rewards and investment crowdfunding campaign for Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch on the Fig platform (www.fig.co ).

In Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch, players get into a tag team combo fight fest and wreak havoc on their foes with fists, feet, and the magic of self-esteem-destroying jibes while embarking on a mission to find their long-lost pot customers trapped in an Orwellian mega super shopping mall. The mall turns out to be a Utopian labyrinth with apartments, restaurants, hospitals and everything that a post-World War II nuclear bunker would contain—with a candy coating of fun.

Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch is a colorful side-scrolling 2.5D, over-the-top multiplayer tag-team brawler whose action escalates as the player travels deeper into the mall of purgatory. The team is creating the narrative through environment, design, combat and a new conversation combat system called the Convo Combo mode. This mechanic changes the dynamics of enemy showdowns through cutting insults combined with an intricate facial animation system that bonds dynamic fighting with timed phrase matching. This delivers a completely different kind of storytelling experience. Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch also includes co-op play, where players finish each other’s combos, and create havoc in the world’s largest mall.

“People have asked me for years why I never made a Jay and Silent Bob video game,” said Kevin Smith.  “Now I can tell them I was waiting for Justin Woodward from Interabang Entertainment and our own Elias to bring it together.  Couldn’t be happier to hand our characters off to folks who know them as well as I do.”

“Kevin Smith’s films have long inspired our team,” said Interabang founder Justin Woodward.  “During development for our first game, we’d take breaks to watch them back to back. The iconic characters, hilarious dialogue, and sheer surrealism of the Askew-niverse got us through rough patches during development and life’s struggles. We kept coming back to thinking about how amazing it would be to see Jay and Silent Bob in a game like the ones we design, and we’re amazed that we have this opportunity now.”

“The first time I heard about Justin creating a game based on Jay and Silent Bob, I wanted it to be a Fig campaign. I mean, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes in a Castle Crasher style brawler, fighting with fists, feet and insults – what’s not to like?!” said Justin Bailey, CEO, Fig. “This campaign will provide traditional rewards, and accept accredited investment as well as unaccredited reservations which will be collected once they are re-confirmed after the SEC filing process is complete.”

Beginning today at 9AM PT, anyone can help fund the project at Fig.co, the only video game-centric funding platform that offers investment and rewards-based crowdfunding. Fig.co provides game studios and their fans with a more balanced and sustainable approach to game development that helps unite fans, investors and developers.

The Fig campaign funding goal for Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch is $400K and the campaign is open to investment (through Game Shares to be offered by Fig Publishing) and rewards (being offered by Interabang). Rewards range from premium digital goodies and new action figures based on designs from the game, to signed custom Kevin Smith-style jerseys and a walk-on in Kevin Smith’s next movie!

Train2Game News BrightLocker funding

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BrightLocker, a revolutionary new crowdpublishing platform created by a diverse group of video game industry veterans, is set to redefine the crowdfunding landscape for videogames with a platform that goes beyond simply allowing backers to fund projects. BrightLocker is the first platform to allow its community to actually participate in the funding, creation, selection and development of games.

Preparing for live launch in early 2016, the BrightLocker platform is now accepting signups for its Closed Beta testing, which will begin in early December.

“In the traditional crowdfunding model for videogames, consumers play the role of a pay-and-pray bystander, often backing games that never get made,” said Ruben Cortez, CEO, BrightLocker, Inc.  “BrightLocker will ensure that every game that gets funded actually gets made and published. We use the power of the crowd to put the ‘fun’ in funding, engaging with users throughout the entire development process, giving gamers the chance to imagine, choose, create, play and even earn money.”

By gamifying the process, BrightLocker rewards gamers at every step of the crowdpublishing process, from game concept through development to launch. For active members of the community, the platform and process are unique opportunities to make their favorite ideas become reality – all while earning rewards, achievements, and currency they can use on the platform and in future games, creating a never-ending virtuous cycle.

In addition to benefits for players, BrightLocker is also attractive for developers. Crowdpublishing on BrightLocker allows developers to work on games ‘pre-approved’ by gamers, reducing user acquisition cost and making development more efficient, dramatically increasing a titles chances of being a hit product. The games on BrightLocker are not limited to any one platform.

BrightLocker is set to officially launch and provide unprecedented power for gamers in early 2016. For more information on BrightLocker, and to sign up for the Closed Beta, please visit www.brightlocker.com.

Train2Game News adjust gets huge funding

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adjust, the leading business intelligence firm for mobile apps, has received $17M in funding from Highland Europe.

The funding round takes the company to a total of $30M raised since it was established in 2012.

Over the past three years, adjust has quickly expanded from its Berlin (DE) office to six additional cities: San Francisco (US), Istanbul (TR), Beijing (CN), Shanghai (CN), Tokyo (JP) and Sydney (AU). adjust now processes over 1 petabyte of mobile data each month and its SDK recently surpassed 1.3 billion live instances in mobile devices. The company also turned profitable in 2015, and is further demonstrating its ability to scale fast and efficiently.

This investment will further accelerate adjust’s product expansion, while strengthening its commitment to the mobile marketing industry through the prevention of fraudulent traffic, encouragement of user-friendly advertising practices and prioritization of privacy protection in mobile marketing.

Christian Henschel, CEO and Co-Founder of adjust, said: “As an independent third-party attribution solutions provider, we assume a central role in connecting app developers to ad networks, publishers and other ecosystem parties. We have now reached a critical scale where as a market leader within the ecosystem, we are uniquely positioned to drive both product innovation as well as industry standards.”

Sam Brooks, Partner at Highland Europe, added: “At Highland, we seek to invest in rapidly growing companies with global ambitions and a commitment to product excellence. We consider adjust’s technical expertise, vast device coverage and deep network integrations as industry-leading within the premium mobile measurement space, demonstrated by the business’ impressive momentum and trusted position among leading international brands. We are thrilled to partner with the adjust team.”

The investment will also enable the company to expand its offering and presence among underserved, high-potential businesses.

Henschel continued: “The growth of mobile-born companies around the globe signals a positive environment for the development of tracking solutions that provide quality data for business decision makers. As these companies become market leaders, more and more businesses will require a holistic mobile marketing tool. Our ambition is to become that essential part of their business intelligence and process data at scale, just as SAP broke out of its market scope decades ago.”

Train2Game News Video Games Prototype Fund

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The new Prototype Fund announced in the July Budget, following concerted lobbying by Ukie, has been launched today.

The Fund will have £4 million over the next four years with which to aid access to finance for both present and future games talent.

The Video Games Prototype Fund, run by the UK Games Talent and Finance CIC, will provide grants of up to £25k to help businesses turn ideas into working prototypes, used to attract private investment. Young and start-up companies will benefit from the scheme,  which is aimed at small and micro-businesses in the UK games industry. An emphasis will also be on nurturing new talent in the sector, with mentoring opportunities and skills support being provided along with the financial backing to successful applicants to the fund.

The project takes over from the Abertay Fund, which supported many earlier businesses to access finance when it ran from 2010 to 2014.

Access to finance is an ongoing problem for fledgling games development businesses attempting to create and retain new Intellectual Property. This financial and business support in the early stages of a studio’s opening will bridge the gap until private investment can be procured. Support for smaller, regional companies will indirectly help larger companies by developing the talent pipeline and stimulating the creation of more IP in the UK.

Successful grant applications will be decided upon published criteria, including potential for commercial success, viability and scalability.

CEO of Ukie, Dr Jo Twist, responded to the announcement, saying:

    We lobbied for this kind of support and we are pleased to see the Fund launch. It has enormous potential for the future of the UK games industry. Access to finance has been an on-going challenge for small and micro games businesses, and the financial support of the fund, as well as the mentoring opportunities that are provided, will open doors to a huge amount of unearthed games talent in the UK. Ukie is really proud to continue to support this project. It is one more step towards the UK becoming a world leader in games development.

Further information about how to apply for the Video Games Prototype Fund and the criteria can be found on their website.

Train2Game News Infinario Funding

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Aspiring game studios now have the opportunity to set themselves apart from the crowd and get funding for their game from INFINARIO, the first player analytics platform for game designers.

More than 100,000 EUR is waiting to be awarded to the most promising games in early stages of development from all around the world. All eligible projects can win either (or both!) of the two prizes – one picked by a jury of experts and the other one awarded in a public voting.

All that’s needed is to start tracking the game in INFIARIO by the end of April and get crazy with dashboards, segmentations, funnels and other useful analyses for 30 days. Moreover, developers who register and start to track their games early, INFINARIO will provide valuable feedback to boost their chances to secure the funding.

Using INFINARIO during the Get Funded campaign is absolutely free for all, with no strings attached and definitely no credit card needed. Find out more at http://infinario.com/getfunded

The grand launch of INFINARIO is going to take place at this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Don’t miss the chance to meet INFINARIO’s team of game experts, learn why you need player analytics and get in touch with the latest trends in game design.

To learn more visit www.infinario.com , check out the blog and follow INFINARIO on Facebook and Twitter.

Train2Game News Vote for SpecialEffect

SpecialEffectIn the games industry? If so, SpecialEffect need your help! They have been selected in the vote for the fantastic, grant making, games industry charity GamesAid.

Last year they made an amazing donation of £52,000 to SpecialEffect to help them meet their growing demand to help amazing young people like Ben who is now rocking Minecraft, FIFA and many other games!

SpecialEffect are in the fortunate position to once again be amongst the charities nominated for GamesAid support but your help is needed to secure a grant. All you need to do is vote at the link below.

SpecialEffect is by no means the biggest cause in the list of nominees so every vote counts.

If you work in the industry then please do visit the link below and consider a vote for SpecialEffect. Current members have to email their choice of charity and user name to GamesAid and new members can register for FREE and cast their vote.

http://www.gamesaid.org/vote-now-2014-voting-re-opens/

You can view the story of Ben in the heart warming video below. SpecialEffect have helped Ben and many others like him to experience the pleasure of gaming as much as we all do.

Train2Game News: Teenager gets massive funding

A teenager from London has recieved incredible funding for the app he has developed.
This is a nice reminder that unique ideas still make good money and there is unlimited potential in making apps.

You can read the story in the link below:

17-year-old Londoner receives more than $1m in funding from investors.