After doubling the fund to £500,000 last year, the fund has returned to its previous amount of £250,000. As was the case with the previous iterations, there is more to the programme than money.
Along with the funding, successful applicants will also receive support and guidance directly from Microsoft.
Here is the complete list of provided services:
- Enrolment to the ID@Xbox Programme for Xbox One Development Kits.
- Access to Windows 10 devices for testing purposes (Subject to availability and at the sole discretion of Microsoft).
- Bespoke technical guidance and support directly from Microsoft.
- Though the Bizspark Microsoft programme all companies selected for the Greenshoots programme will receive select Microsoft tools and services for free. T&Cs can be found here.
- Dedicated marketing support from the team at Xbox.
However, there are some requirements in order to be eligible for the funding:
- Be a games company based in any of the English regions outside of Greater London.
- Have previous, demonstrable game development experience.
- Qualify as an SME and be registered at Companies House.
- Be able to provide £1 for £1 of private match funding to any investment received.
- Have an idea for an innovative new game that can be available for commercial release within approximately 18 months of receiving Creative England funding.
- The Greenshoots programme operates under ‘De Minimis' State Aid rules. This means a private company cannot receive over €200,000 worth of public sector support granted under ‘De Minimis', from whatever source in any three-year rolling period. As part of the application process, applicants will be asked to list any state aid received so we can check it does not exceed the ‘De Minimis' threshold. For the avoidance of doubt, SEIS investment does contribute to your overall state aid allowance.
The deadline for applications is Friday 13th, January 2017. You can apply here.
Four years of funding indie development
This year's Greenshoots program will mark the fourth year Microsoft has teamed up with Creative England. The not-for-profit company supports and promotes the creative industries in England, including tech, games, film and digital media.
Although Microsoft is backing the initiative by offering access to its technology, Greenshoots does not restrict developers to Microsoft platforms. Still, the development and commercial release of a new game must include a dedicated release on Windows 10 on PC and/or Xbox One.