By Jonathan Davies

Four Welsh start-up games developers will receive a £25,000 grant to create new games and expert advice from Microsoft after the tech giant teamed up with the Welsh Government.

The pilot project marks the start of Microsoft's intentions to bring its 'Greenshoots' programme to Wales.

Greenshot is a project run by Microsoft alongside Creative England, designed to provide funding and advice to help produce commercially successful video games.

Initially, four successful applicants will gain access to Microsoft's BizSpark; a programme that provides development software, technical advice and connections to investors. The four start-ups will receive £25,000 towards the development of new games for Microsoft's Xbox One, PCs and mobile platforms.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “The games industry is worth around £1bn to the UK economy and a rapidly growing key sector within the creative industries in Wales offering well paid sustainable jobs.

“It is an area we are actively supporting through a number of initiatives including this pilot with Microsoft which offers opportunities for successful applicants to work with, and benefit from, one of the industry giants.”

Liam Kelly, general manager, developer experience, Microsoft UK said: "We are excited to bring Greenshoots to Wales, to see the Welsh Game Developer community benefit from the programme and look forward to seeing new games as they are released.”