Support from Creative Wales’s production funding is enabling flagship Welsh games company Wales Interactive to create Maid of Sker 2, a sequel CGI video game following on from the award-winning original.
The production funding will allow Wales Interactive to develop this next title at pace and at a high level, allowing 10 freelance developers to work on a major title, the potential for a further 8 to 9 permanent posts during the project period, and creating opportunities for a further 12 trainees.
Maid of Sker was first published in July 2020 and, since its launch, has achieved approximately 1.2 million downloads to date worldwide, receiving universal critical claim as well as winning multiple awards, including the TIGA Heritage Award in 2020.
Maid of Sker is a gothic horror genre game inspired by the Welsh story of Elisabeth Williams, a young woman imprisoned by her father to stop her from marrying the man she loved. She is said to have died of a broken heart and this tragic tale was immortalised in the Welsh folk song, ‘Y Ferch o'r Sger’ (The Maid of Sker).
Wales Interactive has taken the original story from Welsh folklore, evolved the narrative using fact and fiction and added numerous characters for effect, bringing the game to new audiences who can experience it in the medium of a first-person horror game.
Maid of Sker 2 will build upon the Welsh heritage, theme, and story arch of the previous titles.
Dr. David Banner MBE, CEO and Co-Founder of Wales Interactive, said:
“It’s great to see Creative Wales’s continued support for the Welsh games industry and we’re delighted that our project Maid of Sker 2 will be the first video game to receive production funding.
“Wales Interactive has become one of the global leaders in our field, selling millions of video games and interactive movies worldwide, and this Welsh Government support will play an important part in our future success and growth.
Since 2020 Creative Wales has invested £18.1 million in production funding alone, which has supported 37 projects across film, TV, games and animation, generating over £208.7 million into the Welsh economy and demonstrating in excess of an 11:1 return on investment for the economy.
Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, said:
“This year has been an exciting year for the games industry in Wales. We’re serious about games and gaming technology and Creative Wales supports a thriving community of innovative businesses, making the most of local talent to secure international success.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support Wales Interactive with production funding, the investment has created valuable opportunities for aspiring games developers to boost their skills at all stages in their careers, and I wish them every success with the production.”
The Welsh Government is working hard to promote Wales globally as a dynamic and creative hub. In March this year 17 games companies took part in a trade mission to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to help them develop their own businesses and global profiles, with expressions of interest for the 2024 trade mission launching shortly.
Early conversations at the Game Developer Conference and Creative Wales support played a leading role in ensuring that specialist US gaming company Rocket Science chose Cardiff as its new European headquarters. Rocket Science will create 50 highly skilled and highly paid job opportunities for games industry graduates and professionals in around the city, providing a major boost to Wales’s games sector.
Creative Wales is once again providing funding support towards a grassroots talent development programme led by Glyndwr University in Wrexham. Games Talent Wales provides provide industry mentoring and grant support to eight indie games studios, with the long-term ambition of creating a sustainable network of indie games studios in Wales.
Wales Interactive is also one of four Welsh companies shortlisted for a prestigious TIGA Games Industry Award, alongside Sugar Creative, Good Gate Media and Skylife Accountancy,
Find out more about Creative Wales production funding.