How to Find Funding For a Video Game – The Ultimate Guide

Guillaume Chichmanov
May 15, 2024

Video gaming has been a favorite childhood memory for almost all of us. But few people would have thought about turning that passion into a full-time job, right? – And they are very right about that decision!

Today, video gaming is a billion-dollar industry with the utmost thriving potential in each aspect. According to a Statista survey, PC-played video games are expected to generate a revenue of $467.7 billion by the end of 2025. Out of this, 85% are free-to-play games only. By 2030, the global video gaming revenue is expected to be above $583.69 billion.

However, this journey of passion to the profession is not so easy. The first step – and the most difficult step – to success is getting game funding. So, how can you do so without going broke? Read on to find out! 

Benefits of Game Funding

Creating a game is not a solo man's job. You might need a full team of publishers, animators, developers, creators, and graphic designers. To simplify it, you need funds to pay your team members off for your project to get a boost. However, game funding has other benefits, too. These include:

  1. You get a broader vision of the gaming industry
  2. More people means more and better development of ideas
  3. Your potential margin for losses (if any) decreases
  4. You have more access to expertise 
  5. Increased production value of your game
  6. Access to broader distribution channels 
  7. Better promotion and marketing of indie game opportunities 
  8. More networking opportunities       

Top 6 Ways to Fund Your Indie Games

Indie games are independently published games created by mostly one or two self-game makers. It is why their cross-platform access often fails to reach a wider population. However, this might not be the case for you.

Try these funding strategies to fund your indie games and make them a blockbuster, just like Undertale and Thomas Was Alone

1. Crowdfunding

The meaning of crowdfunding is as easy as the name suggests, but the process might not be the same. In simpler terms, it means to put your idea in front of a general population and score funds to develop your game. This concept might sound simple on paper. However, it comes with its cons.

First, marketing your idea to the board game investors is expensive. You might even need to sell your shares to score funding. And then again, the funding might not even be enough. Eventually, you'll need to rely on other resources to meet the price. 

Conversely, if your marketing strategy fails, your idea is out for all game outsourcing studios to use without copyright claims. Remember, it is difficult enough to gather players for newly published games. While crowdfunding is getting them before even starting!

However, not all factors come with downsides. You can meet some really good investors, too. Platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Patreon offer a wide community to which you can connect and boost your game funding. The trick is to sell your idea right! Other pros of crowdfunding include

  • You get to keep your game equity.
  • Crowdfunding platforms give centralized access to all the board game investors under one roof.
  • You get more chances to build your players.
  • Better testing of your prototype.
  • You can test the market more closely before launching your game.  

2. Video Game Grants and Tax Relief 

Loans are a big NO for video game funding. Why? – If the project fails, you can lose all your assets. Instead, you could go for a healthier alternative – Government Grants! Using this strategy, you won't have to spend a penny marketing your ideas, and you can achieve thousands, if not millions, in developing processes.    

However, take a seat. It is more complex than it sounds. These government and NGO video game grants are based on supporting innovative ideas that can benefit society in the long run. That means the competition is tough. You might have to beat hundreds of competitors to get your idea recognized and valued. Difficult, but still a safer bet than loans!      

Some of the recognized grant providers include:

  • Cry Engine
  • Creative Europe
  • Fig
  • Wellcome Trust 
  • Ancient Game Fund
  • Unreal Dev Grants
  • Indie Fund
  • UK Games Fund, etc 

Also, many governments offer tax relief on game productions. It may not be a complete funding aid. But something is better than nothing. Combining it with other funding methods allows you to secure a wider margin for your gaming project. One such government program is Video games Tax Relief. You need to register here to get your tax excluded.      

3. Using NFTs for Marketing Indie Games 

NFTs – Non-fungible Tokens – are the hidden gems of video game funding resources. They are the perfect means for players getting in the game and other things like Metaverse.  When used with the right strategy, you can benefit millions from them. 

It all started with an American digital artist and graphic designer, Beeple. He created a digital artwork in March 2021 and sold it for $69 Million. Since then, the gaming and NFT industry has topped the charts exponentially!  

As a video game developer, you can use a similar strategy. Create digital artwork and icons and sell them to users to enhance gaming interest. The best part about NFTs is they are copyright-registered. So, game outsourcing studios cannot copy your design. 

Furthermore, with each resold, game devs get royalties. This business model benefits developers and players when selling NFTs in the secondary gaming market. A popular example includes Decentraland, where NFTs are virtual plots of land that players buy and sell, earning thousands as profits! 

4. Venture Capital Funding 

Self-game makers and grants are popular for raising funds for video game development. However, the traditional and oldest method has always been venture capital scoring. During the Covid pandemic, it was seen as the biggest funding resource for the gaming industry.   

VC funding depends upon the corporate IT sectors to offer seed funding to the game-developing studios in exchange for profits. With this corporate sharing, the risk of loss decreases as companies also bring in their long-term business expertise. Plus, your taxes and legal matters are their legal matters. So, no need to worry about them anymore.

However, with VC funding, you may get a well-connected industrial connection, but you might be left with little say in how you run your gaming business. Some of the popular VC funding tycoons are:

  • London Venture Partners
  • Play Ventures
  • Makers Fund
  • Bitkraft
  • Khosla
  • Greycroft 
  • NFX  

5. Game Art Outsourcing

It is not your usual funding strategy, but this trick can save you thousands of dollars that you can use on other developing stages. How? – Cutting costs on excessive art creation, animation tools, and 3D model prototype testing.  

By game art outsourcing, you reach out to game outsourcing studios to do that part of game development instead of doing it yourself. This method saves you more time and money on marketing, prototype testing, graphical design, and gameplay animations. Not hard, but smart work! 

You can consider outsourcing the 3D artwork part to the following:

  • Gaming studios
  • Freelancers
  • In house recruiters 
  • Part-time graphic designers  

6. Bootstrapping

Lastly, when nothing feels like working, self-funding is always an option. It gives your project that much-needed kicker boost. Many new entrepreneurs use self-funding to start their video gaming production studio. 

You can use anything as your starter bonus – savings, assets, shares, or employed wages. However, with bootstrapping, you might need to start saving a few months in advance.   

The best perk of this method is that you keep all the ownership and launching rights of your indie game. No more contracts, deadlines, shares, and ownership issues!

How To Fund Your Video Games? – Step-by-Step Guide 

Reaching out of funds might seem like a go, tell, and get story, but it is more complex than that. You need to prove your idea is worth the investors' money. Only then will people willingly invest in your gaming production.

To secure funds, here is what you need to do:

  • Compare your model with other popular examples and figure out how to make your model better than your competitors.
  • Search your potential investors
  • Prepare an appealing gameplay presentation that includes all the important points of the game.
  • Specify the theme of your game. 
  • Introduce your target population.
  • Specify highlighting features of your game.
  • Give a proper budget plan.
  • Explain your developmental plan.
  • Negotiate your terms and conditions of investment contracts 
  • End with your past projects (if any) and qualifications.  

The Bottom Line

Raising funds for your venture is hard, especially if you are a first-timer. It demands high-quality, valued content with lots of marketing, which could challenge entrepreneurs. Although self-funding can ease you out of tight contracts and deadlines, funding can also give you a broader market perspective. 

With crowdfunding and Venture help, you can get better connections. On the other hand, outsourcing can help you eliminate unneeded tensions. In this regard, Cominted Labs has been working to provide quality, lidden 3D art and animations for video games. So, contact them today to get your game a bigger market launch with more funding!

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