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Singapore launches US$227,000 program to support computer game development

Singapore said Thursday it is providing up to 350,000 Singapore dollars (US$227,000; euro170,600) in funds to boost development in the city-state of casual computer games for the global market.

Major casual game publishers such as Seattle-based Big Fish Games Inc., PlayFirst Inc. of San Francisco, and Encore, a subsidiary of New Hope, Minn.-based video game maker Navarre Corp., will advise local teams on their concepts, the Media Development Authority said in a statement.

Up to 10 computer development teams with winning proposals will receive S$35,000 (US$22,700; euro17,060) each in funding for projects, the statement said. The teams are each expected to produce a playable demo by January.

Casual games are simple, one-player puzzles that can be played on desktop computers, gaming consoles, cell phones or hand-held computers. It takes less than a minute to understand the rules, structure and plot. The games often revolve around spelling, trivia, arithmetic or geometry.

Singapore’s government has been trying to diversify its economy toward the service as well as the arts and media industries, amid competition from lower-cost economies like China and Vietnam.

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