Indonesia’s indie darling Toge Productions has launched a funding program for small game studios from Southeast Asia. The program called The Toge Game Fund Initiative (TGFI) is intended to financially support indie developers in the production of their games and give them the opportunity to fall back on Toge’s extensive know-how. In addition, the publisher would like to increase awareness of Southeast Asian game development in the world.
The process sounds very straightforward: game developers from Southeast Asia can pitch their games and if Toge Productions accepts the pitch, they will receive the agreed funding of up to USD 10,000. The highlight: the developers don’t have to pay back the money, even if Toge ends the deal early. The IP should also remain completely in the hands of the developers. But of course, the publisher also benefits as he reserves the right of first refusal for a publishing deal. In layman’s language, this means that Toge Productions can propose a publishing deal first, which the indie studios do not necessarily have to accept.
We think TGFI sounds like a very fair deal from a publisher who has built an excellent reputation in Southeast Asia’s game market, especially for its outstanding indie games. Founded in 2009 as a Flash studio, Toge Productions is now a fixture with a game portfolio of high-quality titles. These include, among others, Coffee Talk, She and the Light Bearer, When The Past Was Around, Necronator: Dead Wrong and the most recently published Rising Hell. Some of these games were created in cooperation with other studios such as Mojiken Studio and Tahoe Games and many of them are based on prototypes that were developed during in-house game jams.
In the end, it remains to be seen whether TGIF will result in the release of exciting and successful game projects, but the approach sounds very promising already. Despite funding and support coming from Toge Productions, the indie studios seem to remain independent and retain the creative freedom over their games. In any case, we are curious to see which game will be released first.
Anyone interested in The Toge Game Fund Initiative will find the submission form and a helpful Q&A on their website, which among other things answers possible questions about localization and game engines. Registration is currently only open to game studios from Southeast Asia.