A few hours after its opening, today the First Playable Fund (Digital Entertainment Fund) was closed following thebudget exhaustion available. The communication came following the boom of applications received, which led to the rapid closing of the door.
The First Playable Fund is an incentive that favors the creation and pre-production of video games, and has an endowment of 4 million euros. Businesses that can apply must have registered office in Europe and tax residence in Italian territory. This fund was established by article 38, paragraph 12, of the Growth Decree, and is promoted by Ministry of Economic Development and is managed by Invitalia.
The facilities provided to businesses by the First Playable Fund consist of a non-repayable grant covering 50% of expenses. Furthermore, according to the regulation, the concessions provided must not exceed € 200,000 over three financial years.
Today, Wednesday 30 June, starting from 12.00, there was the opening of the counter, which was assaulted by the demands of the companies. The amount of requests meant that the 4 million euros available ended in a very short time, leading to the stop of the fund’s operation.
L’Italian Interactive Digital Entertainment Association (IIDEA) commented on this:
Fund for Digital Entertainment: the funds are insufficient to cover the needs of the sector, it is necessary to immediately refinance the support measure promoted by the Ministry of Economic Development (Ministry of Economic Development), and managed by Invitalia, and the strengthening of the financial endowment.
It is not excluded that the First Playable Fund may reopen later, should it become available new funding and the budget was increased, so that all the companies that failed to apply for the subsidies were advised to periodically check the Invitalia site and that of the Ministry of Development.
While large participation can be seen as a positive signal of interest to the fund, on the other hand it was highlighted the inadequacy of the financial resources available to support the Italian video game industry.