New research from the TaxPayers' Alliance shows that the European Commission has spent nearly £2.4 million on grants towards video game development in 2014 alone, the first year of the new "Creative Europe" programme. The most recent EU budget saw Britain contribute 11.4 per cent of total EU funds. No detail about the individual contributions to "Creative Europe" are available, but working on the 11.4 per cent figure, these video game grants have cost British taxpayers more than a quarter of a million pounds (£270,233).
Among the projects funded are:
- Arena World, a combat game based "in a rift in time, between universes... where Gladiators from the known dimensions meet, to demonstrate their absolute skill in combat and survival against deadly foes enslaved from around the cosmos," given £110,000
- Duels, an action adventure game in which you play The Soul, breaking free from an eternity in prison via "an innovative mix of sword fight and shoot-them-up game play," also given £110,000
- Cosmic Top Secret Experience, a "playable cocktail of James Bond, Find My Family and The Walking Dead," also given £110,000
- Your Kingdom Come, a game which "tells a simple story about the fragility of the family with a metaphor where the family members, presented as unreal monsters, continuously fight," given £103,000
- Party Tennis: Euro Tour, a multiplayer tennis simulator, given £88,000
- Ship Emergency Simulator, the "world's first maritime career simulator." Players will start out as a junior engineer or junior officer and will have to work their way up through the ranks. The developers, given £75,000, admit the majority of the game is "fairly undramatic"
- Save the Queen!, a fairy tale featuring a "loving Queen, a valiant Knight, a wicked witch and a trustworthy wizard", given £65,000
- Future Unfolding, a "surrealistic adventure game about the mind during meditation and dreaming" in which "players explore a mystical forest filled with life, both beautiful and dangerous," given £40,000
Commenting on the research, Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"Taxpayers will be furious that Brussels bureaucrats seem to have no regard for the value of taxpayers' money. At a time when there are serious issues across the continent, the EU's focus should be on solving real-life problems rather than splashing the cash on made-up ones. Those responsible for approving this spending must be held accountable."