Leveling The Playing Field Will Offer Funding To Smaller And Start-Up Development Teams Where At Least Half of Employees are Women.
“[...] equality is just as important in the games industry as in the rest of society, not least to safeguard the best competence and increase the games’ target audiences. Women in the industry are mostly found in medium-sized and large companies and a definite challenge is to have more developers and start-ups include more females at the inception stage, as well as encourage women to start gaming companies themselves” - Game Development Index 2016
Today ‘Coffee Stain Studios’, developer and publisher of ‘Goat Simulator’, is announcing a new funding initiative focused on promoting gender equality within game development studios. ‘Leveling the Playing Field’ is a funding opportunity aimed at smaller development teams and startups who employ at least as many women as men in their company. The decision to start this initiative has been brought about by what the team at Coffee Stain and so many others have seen as a distinct gender imbalance when it comes to employment within the games industry.
Coffee Stain has already kicked off the initiative with the Danish/Swedish studio, Other Tales Interactive, which consists of the two co-founders Tanja Tankred and Mira Dorthé who banded together due to their common love for narrative-driven games. They are now working on their first title Tick Tock: A Tale for Two, a two-player adventure game where players have to communicate and collaborate in order to solve puzzles and piece together a story. The company was part of the Swedish incubator called Stugan, spoke about narrative in games at conferences, and their game has been nominated for several awards. Since then Coffee Stain has assisted with additional funding and guidance.
Tanja Tankred, Co-Founder of Other Tales Interactive said: “We are super excited about collaborating with Coffee Stain and to be a part of their initiative Leveling the Playing Field. It’s great that Coffee Stain are actively working towards diversifying the game industry and we are looking forward to seeing more awesome companies getting the same opportunities. On a personal level, it is great to be working with a company of skilled people that can offer advice and guidance on all aspects of game development.”
Anton Westbergh, CEO and Founder of Coffee Stain said “The current level of employment equality between women and men in the games industry is poor. In the Swedish games industry only 18% of its employees are women. This number is increasing every year, however at Coffee Stain we are way too impatient to idly sit by and wait for true equality in the industry to come about. It is with this in mind that we are creating a new funding opportunity aimed at smaller development teams where at least half of the staff whose staff is made up of women”
Who can apply?
- At least half of your team is made up of women employees.
- Your team should be a “small team”.
- You need less than 1 000 000 SEK.
That’s it. If you fulfill, or even almost fulfill, those requirements you can apply for funding. We will take a look at your case and get back to you.
How do you apply?
You send an email to email@example.com. Present your game with whatever means you find appropriate: playable demo, video trailer, design document, etc. Also present your team, who and where you are, your background etc. The better understanding we have of your team and your game, the bigger the chances to get funding.
What does Coffee Stain want in return?
We want to clarify that this is all about helping to further increase gender equality within the industry and helping your team to grow. We are not looking for huge returns on investment, but this is no charity either. We are only going to invest in teams we think can make it. We are looking for a minority stake in your company where any eventual profits will be used to make this initiative self-sustaining. We won’t demand any influence over your studio or over your game, you’ll be free to continue doing things your way.