News - 08 October 2014

Derby Enterprise Growth Fund Spearheads Gaming Growth 

A Derby company which is making its mark in the growing mobile gaming industry has secured a £162,000 grant and £235,228 loan from the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund to help it better control its own destiny.

Eight Pixels Square, based in Ashbourne Road, currently employ 43 people including those from Eurocom and Core Design. Both companies were top players in the console games industry creating such well known games and characters respectively as Harry Potter and Lara Croft. This market changed significantly with the rise of free-to-play games on Facebook, smartphones and tablets.

Eight Pixels Square was launched last year concentrating on developing games for this developing market played on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

They have already developed successful games including Lawless, and more recently Scuba Dupa, and have worked as sub-contractors for top publishing companies in Asia and the USA.

The company applied for funding to enable it to develop more of its own games in-house with the goal of doubling the size of the company in the next three years and ensuring its future financial stability.

Company Chairman Ian Sneap explained: “We have a team who are very experienced in games and technology development, and they have adapted their skills to the particular demands of developing games apps for mobile devices.

“We are now ready to control our own destiny and publish a whole suite of our own games and therefore turned to the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund for support.

“Traditional funding routes such as venture capital tend to invest in geographical clusters of companies in the same industry. Although Derby and the East Midlands have the potential to become a recognised cluster such as London, Helsinki or San Francisco, we are not there yet. 

“We therefore needed this grant support and are extremely grateful that DEGF is here to support local companies such as ourselves.

“With the support of DEGF we can forge ahead with the development of our own games brands and Scuba Dupa is the first of this programme.

“We are looking to take on more than 50 new programmers, community managers, analysts, and designers in the coming years and hope that the majority of these jobs will be sourced locally – especially through the graduate market.”

The £20 million Derby Enterprise Growth Fund is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and run by Derby City Council.  DEGF aims to support growth and job creation in businesses in the city and surrounding area through a mix of loans and grants.

Derby City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning, Environment and Regeneration Cllr Martin Rawson chairs the DEGF panel of industrial and financial experts who consider business applications.

He said “Although the gaming industry has had a tough time recently, it is excellent to see that companies such as Eight Pixels Square are taking up the mantle and building up Derby’s credentials again in this field.

“Innovative companies such as these are just what we need in the city to provide graduates from the University of Derby with the break they need to enter into the industry, maintain the skills base in the city and attract new and established companies into the area.

“I am therefore delighted that DEGF has once again proved to be the catalyst for growth – further building on the city’s accolade as being the UK’s number one high-tech city.” 

Applications for the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund continue to be accepted by Derby City Council. To find out more visit: . Alternatively call 01332 641628 or email .

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