Would you give $6000 of your own money to help a stranger achieve their dreams? That’s what Kai Hutchence of Massive Corporation Game Studios is doing. He’s launching a new grant program through his company to help one lucky Saskatchewan resident to help make their dream of making video games come true.
The grant program, called Massive Sacks of Cash, will give one lucky applicant $500/month for one year, with almost no strings attached. The recipient can spend the money however they want only needing to fill in a simple once-a-month survey while they grant is in effect. “The grant is designed to be as flexible and low overhead as possible, its about money to help someone create. I’m not limiting them with how they use it, I’m not burying them under a mountain of paperwork, they fully own everything they create, it’s all about freedom, financial and creative.” explains Kai Hutchence.
As both CEO of Massive Corporation Game Studios and organizer of ReginaGameDev, Kai Hutchence is on a mission to grow a game development industry in Saskatchewan. Highlighting the potential, Hutchence explains “The global game industry is now over $130 billion dollars a year, there’s an enormous amount of economic potential, it’s larger than film and music combined. We haven’t had much of an industry historically but we need to play catch up, thankfully folks like Noodlecake Studios in Saskatoon are proving it can be done.” Indeed the time may be right. Noodlecake Studios’ Stickman Golf is a world famous franchise, and the 2018 game of the year Cuphead: Don’t Deal with the Devil was developed by a trio originally from Regina.
With the newly announced goal of the Provincial government to triple the size of the tech industry, video games are an important diversification option for the Saskatchewan economy. “If we want to build a future here we’re going to have to change our thinking. Right now we’re saddling our youth with enormous debt, they are crushed by the obligations and are caught in a treadmill of keeping up with their bills. Without changing the system our youth can’t find the time or money to invest in themselves. They can’t put the time in to learn critical new skills, they can’t spend the time and energy building something for themselves,” Hutchence laments.
“The industry here desperately needs experienced people, but nobody can get experience. This grant is trying to break that cycle. If we can take some of the pressure off, hopefully they’ll be able to develop something for themselves. Something that will grow their skills, something they can put in a portfolio, something that can build a company. We need to get some momentum, so that things can start moving in the right direction, and we can start getting some experience and products that will build the industry here.” He explains. Putting up $6000 of his own money, he’s hoping to find some of the young eager talent in the province to support with money and mentorship and help achieve their own game development entrepreneurship dreams.
Interested Saskatchewan residents can check out the Massive Corporation Game Studios website for more details and to apply online. The grant will be taking applications from Dec. 10 to Jan. 10 and payments will be made the last day of the month throughout 2020.