London’s games and interactive entertainment industry is set for a £1.2m boost with the launch of Games London, a ground breaking new programme to make the city the games capital of the world, tapping into a market that globally is worth around $81bn.
Funded by the London Enterprise Panel (LEP), Games London is being delivered by Film London, the capital’s strategic agency for film and media, and games trade body Ukie and will build on recent growth in the games sector, which generated £2.8bn in revenue in 2015.
The three year programme will capitalise on the Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR), which was introduced in 2014. It will attract investment to the UK and help businesses based in the capital generate £35million in new revenue, adding nearly £10million, as well as creating hundreds of jobs and boosting skills and training.
The plan was announced today via an in-game press conference featuring Mayor of London Boris Johnson in one of the biggest video games in the world: Minecraft.
Mayor of London and Chair of the LEP Boris Johnson said ‘London is already a star player when it comes to games and interactive entertainment, but international competition is fierce and we need to ensure our city can compete with our global gaming rivals. Through Games London we are supercharging an increasingly important sector for our economy, one that exemplifies the capital’s reputation for creativity and innovation. From design to banking and civil engineering to film, games technology is being used in a host of different sectors. We are investing in a dynamic and constantly evolving industry to take London to another level as a world-leading capital for games and interactive entertainment.’
The Games London programme will deliver:
· A new annual London Games Festival – with the first taking place in April 2016 – to showcase and celebrate the industry’s huge cultural and economic impact
· A new international business-to-business networking event to attract top investment to the UK
· Inbound and outbound trade missions to promote the tax relief and the sector overseas, in conjunction with London’s official promotional company London & Partners
· A range of training and skills initiatives
The 2016 London Games Festival takes place 1 April to 10 April, and will include 15 official events across 10 different venues in the capital. Highlights include:
· Now Play This (1 April – 3 April), a weekend festival of games and play at Somerset House, as part of Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility
· The brand-new Games Finance Market (5 April – 7 April), a first of its kind event that recreates the successful formula delivered by Film London in matching film finance to film projects during the London Film Festival. The Games Finance Market will connect interactive content talent with global investors and partners from across sectors
· A series of insightful ‘LGF @ BFI’ talks (4 April) programmed and presented by London Games Festival in partnership with BFI Southbank
· The inclusion of already influential global events: British Academy Games Awards (7 April) and EGX Rezzed (7 April – 9 April)
· An inspiring cultural programme that helps change perceptions of video games and champions the medium as a cutting-edge art form – plus a London Games Fringe of alternative and exciting smaller events
Games London is being led by Michael French who was appointed in September 2015. French has been working in the games sector for 13 years as a journalist and publisher, building brands and events that support and grow the games industry. Partners include BAFTA, London & Partners, Gamer Events, Somerset House and the BFI.
More details about Games Festival will be announced soon. Further information can be found at www.games.london