Partners include Creative England’s Creative Enterprise, Tonic Games Group, Green Man Gaming, University of Greenwich and Ukie.
Up to 8 sponsored places available for early stage studio founders across the UK from underrepresented groups.
Peer-to-peer learning with existing Tentacle Zone residents.
- Applications close on February 24th, 2021. Programme starts in March 2021 and ends in June 2021.
London, January 13th 2021 - Payload Studios today launched its new inclusion initiative for 2021. The creators of TerraTech are calling for up to eight early-stage game developers from underrepresented groups to apply to its new Tentacle Zone Incubator programme. The incubator, with support from partners Tonic Games, Green Man Gaming and Creative England’s Creative Enterprise, will offer sponsored places for founders from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the games industry. These groups include, but are not limited to, POC, lower socioeconomic backgrounds, LGBTQ+, people from underrepresented genders (cis women, trans women, trans men, non-binary), disabilities and neurodiversities.
The successful applicants will benefit from peer-to-peer learning with more established studios, as well as mentoring and tutoring from a diverse group of industry experts in five key areas, across a four month business support programme:
Soft skills sessions - confidence, public speaking, networking
Business planning; preparing your studio for the future
Production, design and development
Marketing and PR
- Funding and finance
The incubator’s academic partner, the University of Greenwich, has been chosen due to the institution’s strong understanding of the social barriers facing students in game development, especially from underrepresented groups.
For details of how to sign up go here: LINK
Russell Clarke, Co-Founder and CEO of Payload Studios and Nisha Valand, Programme Director of Tentacle Zone Workspace stated:
“Making workplaces and the industry more inclusive is not an overnight task, but the more we learn about diversity and inclusion, the more we realise that we should and can, be taking action to challenge the inequity in the games industry. We are delighted to be working closely with our partners Creative England’s Creative Enterprise, Tonic Games Group, Green Man Gaming, Ukie and the University of Greenwich as well as those industry professionals who have signed up to help deliver our new incubator programme. At Payload, we have always valued the benefits of being part of a strong community of game developers and we hope that via our Tentacle Zone platform and the learnings from our Game On initiative so far, we can help drive positive change by supporting early stage founders from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.”
Dr. Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, stated:
“The Tentacle Zone Incubator is a perfect example of how the principles of the industry-wide #RaiseTheGame pledge can be turned into meaningful action. Initiatives like this play an important role in making our sector more equal, diverse and inclusive and we encourage founders from all underrepresented backgrounds to apply.”
Haley Edwards, Creative Enterprise Programme Manager, added:
“The UK’s games industry continues to be an impressive driving force for the nation’s economy, yet research shows, for example, that people of colour and women remain underrepresented, particularly in leadership roles. We’re proud to be collaborating on this vital programme to give opportunity for underrepresented founders from across England to grow their games businesses with support from the industry’s leaders.”
Darrenlloyd Gent, Programme Leader and Principal Lecturer, Games and Digital Media at University of Greenwich stated:
“At the University of Greenwich we’ve sought to support the games industry as well as our local community, and this initiative very much mirrors the diverse nature of our university, as well as the independent and resourceful graduates that our games degrees produce”.
Ian McGregor, CMO, Green Man Gaming said:
“Inclusion is a core value at Green Man Gaming, we believe games are for everyone and everyone should have the opportunity to create them. We are excited to partner with Payload Studios on this initiative to help support creative talent from underrepresented groups and drive diversity within the UK industry.”
Luke Gibson, Director of Business Operations, Tonic Games Group stated:
“At Tonic Games Group, we believe that games are for everyone! That means backing a future that includes more diverse creators, players, and games. We want to support a wider set of people and help equip them with the skills and opportunities to build rewarding careers and amazing studios. The Tentacle Zone has a remarkable track record of amplifying voices, so we’re delighted to partner with them in their mission to create more and better opportunities for founders from underrepresented backgrounds.”
This year’s incubator programme is the evolution of Payload Studios’ established Tentacle Zone initiative, which includes a virtual community of games studios and digital programme for existing residents, exhibition stand, a co-working space and incorporates the principles of the company’s diversity initiative, Game On.
FOR FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT WHAT PARTICIPANTS WILL GAIN FROM THE FREE PROGRAMME FULL DETAILS ARE HERE: https://tentacle.zone/incubator/
For Further Information:
For UK media enquiries:
Stefano Petrullo – Renaissance PR
+44 (0) 7828 692 315
Emily Britt – Renaissance PR
+44 (0) 7739 339 080
About Payload Studios
Payload Studios is a British independent game studio founded by Russell Clarke and Vincent Scheurer to develop the ultimate exploration sandbox game - TerraTech.
Payload Studio’s co-founder Russell Clarke left London's Ideaworks mobile studio 2012 to go on his very own indie adventure, pulling in his experience from working on beloved franchises like Metal Gear, Call of Duty, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider and Fable.
Terratech started development in late 2013 and progressed rapidly, launching on Steam’s Early Access platform in February 2015. Building upon a wealth of community feedback, it was fully released on Steam in August 2018, with console versions following soon afterwards on Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
The team expanded at pace and is now based in London Farringdon as founders of the Tentacle Zone, a co-working space for game developers. The team’s hard work and dedication was recognised when Payload Studios won TIGA’s “Best Small Studio'' Award of 2020.
About Tentacle Zone
The Tentacle Zone is the moniker PayLoad Studios gave to the indie collective they created in 2015 when they wanted to bring their early access game, Terra Tech, to gamers via events. Initially conceived as a way for several small studios to split the costs of attending events, it quickly evolved and has supported 200 games through the stand. Tentacle Zone now includes a shared workspace in London for other game developers, talks and events. 2020 saw Tentacle Zone activities change to reflect working practices and game development during the global pandemic, with events being delivered online.
About Game On
Payload studios recognises our responsibility to improve the diversity of the studio and ensure our workplace is truly inclusive. Our initiative, Game On, includes a range of internal steps and a programme of regular events.
Since April 2019 we have organised and hosted a series of public events focused on inclusion (these include panels, talks and workshops). These are open to Payload Studio employees, Tentacle Zone residents as well as the wider games industry. The events have welcomed incredible speakers as well as attendees from almost 200 different studios/companies.
Our events focus on specific topics related to diversity and inclusion while also amplifying the voices of diverse leaders, studios and some of the leading games industry diversity organisations.
We aim to improve attendees’ understanding of issues related to inclusion, diversity, equality and belonging and also provide individuals and companies with actionable steps to improve inclusivity and diversity.
About Creative Enterprise
In partnership with the BFI, Creative Enterprise was developed two years ago to grow screen businesses in the English regions. Through intensive programmes and bespoke workshops led by industry leaders and mentors, Creative Enterprise provides expertise and training to futureproof the next generation of moving image companies. By bringing together companies who work in moving image for storytelling, we build meaningful connections and create opportunities for business growth. The programme set out to support moving image entrepreneurs and businesses to develop new business models, products and services.