The CODE Executive team, including its Chief Executive, has no influence over and makes no decisions regarding the recipients of game funding CODE provides.
CODE exclusively uses a team of independent, external assessors drawn from New Zealand, the wider region and internationally as the sole adjudicators of what grant applications we fund. The assessors never come from our target region to prevent possibilities of conflicts. Further to this, CODE always has an independent official present to monitor for any possible conflicts that may arise.
CODE funding panel assessments are conducted at a live meeting. We assemble four assessors each round after a review period and then conduct the panel assessment over an online meeting which is recorded. Two panel sessions are typically held for KickStart/StartUp rounds; one for shortlisting, where the independent assessors work through those applications in contention and those which need more work to become viable, and a second for final decisions.
Scale Up and Service Start are on-demand grants, but funding panel meetings are run similarly. Scale Up requires industry veterans from enterprise-level backgrounds and one meeting is normally enough to get to a decision, once all assessors are satisfied with their review of application materials.
CODE does not publish a list of assessors to keep them anonymous and free from external influence. They are drawn from senior-level practitioners across many disciplines of game development and are rotated from round to round to change the line-up for each assessment. Each assessor brings with them different experience and perspective.