How to Get Video Game Grants

Video Game Grants – Creating a video came is sure fun and rewarding. But it can cost quite a lot of effort, energy, and money to do it. But can you get some financial assistance to make your game a reality?

The idea of video game grants has been around for a while, and recently there’s a buzz on the internet about video game grants that comes from –surprisingly– the government. This exciting news comes from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA – which released its new guidelines for funding and grants.

The new rule is called the NEA Arts in Media, which supposedly replace the Arts in Radio and Television rules. This NEA Arts in Media rule expand its focus for other media outside of radio and television, which also include theatrical, mobile phones, mobile contents, and even video game category.


Video Game Grants Award – NEA

The grant award amount varies greatly, depending on the scope, platform and complexity of the project. For your information, the grants coming from NEA is usually falls between $10,000 and $200,000. So you see, it’s pretty big, and big grants usually come with complicated process. There will be an advisory panel to examine your application. Then, they will decide whether your project is works of arts or not.

There are four outcomes expected from the project you’re submitting to the NEA, which are:

  1. Creation, the project is creative and artistic that meets the highest standard of excellence.
  2. Your project must have a good engagement, but not limited to a specific art form. If your project can extend the art to underserved population, then you will get special attention.
  3. This means that the project includes artistic activities that can foster community interaction in public places.
  4. The project should be able to encourage positive development among artists.

For the most part, your project must have artistic excellence in order to be considered as one of the candidates for this grant program.

This grant is not for everyone. The NEA specifically said that they only give this video game grant for nonprofits, specifically those who have gotten their tax-exempt 501(c)(3). Therefore, if you are aspiring game creators who are currently looking for a way to fund your game project that can help a lot of people, you may be qualified for this grant.

You should visit the NEA site to download the application form. Don’t forget to submit the application before the September 1, which is the annual deadline for the grant application submission in NEA (

Alternatives of Video Game Grants

There are other alternatives, of course. But they all have one similarity. The grant providers are looking for a game that has more value than just a regular game. Here are some alternatives to get video game grants:

1. Bootstrapping

This can be a choice to get fund from indie game developers. They provide the fund through self-funding, such as personal assets, contractual work, and employment. If you have a plan to switch to a full-time game developer, then you must build a war chest first. Some developers recommend up to 12-16 months of living expenses, and that is for your team. Part-time development or spare time is a necessary way to take.

Finding and finishing contractual work needs effective time management. Bootstrapping, a game studio is an effective process to start your business. So, you have to be smart on spending your time or resources. Usually, bootstrapping goes back to Debt funding since you will use credit cards or loans to get this project.

2. Crowdfunding

There are some popular platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo if you want to be the part of game developers in the world. Make sure that you create your game with an impressive concept that anyone can see the visual trailer or teaser.

Kickstarter is a competitive platform, and Patreon can be your great alternative for smaller projects to build a community. You can create content around the development stages so people and future players are able to follow and support your game progress.

The biggest challenge of crowdfunding is how to build a strong audience before creating the product. You must attract players to start crowdfunding. Even though it is the hardest part, it does not mean you cannot achieve it.

3. Project Funding

Under this concept, you must do some research and seek for a game publisher to pay for the game development cost. Usually, this is completed in advance against the future revenues. Once it releases, publishers will recoup the cost with other expenses such as promotion cost, marketing cost, and testing cost. They may also have a share of all the generated revenue.

Game developers in some cases, will have the intellectual property rights, especially for the assets and game. This will allow them to create many sequels or the future versions of the game. The publisher will add value to the complete development lifecycle, such as the marketing, finding the players, and other. This option of funding indie game is an ideal choice if developers understand the value of upfront cash and long-term achievements.

4. VC Funding

Historically, in the gaming industry, you can get opportunities to start feed funding with the support of corporate development or government funds. There are some popular names in the venture industry category, such as Makers Fund, Play Ventures, and London Venture Partners. For more traditional VC Funding organizations, there are Khosla, Lux, NFX, and many more. In the middle of 2020, Q2, VC investments in this industry was quite high, by coming in more than $700m.


Whatever it is, the list above is a good way to start when you are seeking for video game grants or fund assistance programs. I hope you have more confident to find a way to get some financial help for your game development. Use the sources above and find grants for your video game projects!


  • US government now funds video games… if they’re “art” –
  • The Basics of the Grants and Games Opportunity –
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