Some of the biggest names in the UK games industry have called for a new organisation, founded with government money, to fund UK games production, culture and education.
Industry veteran Ian Livingstone and investment consultant Rick Gibson have announced their blueprint for a new body called the British Games Institute. This is backed by both UK video game trade bodies, UKIE and TIGA.
The video games industry – as part of the creative industries – were identified by the Theresa May as one of the areas that would be assisted by the UK government's new Modern Industrial Strategy.
The aim is for BGI to help plug the finance gap” that stands in the way of upcoming studios, as well as funding the production of around 40 cultural games” every year, with funding of up to 500,000.
In the long-term, the vision for BGI includes the organisation being involved in education policy and help tackle skill problems the industry suffers from.
Furthermore, it would champion the impact that games have had on life in the UK, negate the continual scapegoating of our industry”, celebrate games culture with a national British Games Week , as well as run competitions, cultural projects and curate a National Videogame Arcade.
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The BFI is a remarkable organisation doing valuable work funding commercial film production, research and educational projects as well as heritage and training projects,” Livingstone said.
We want to use the BFI as a template for a new agency funded by new government money to deliver long term impact for the video games industry.”
As said before, BGI has the backing of both UKIE and TIGA.
We know games are an economic success story, but games are also a key part of culture and an important form of expression, not just entertainment,” UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE said.
We have long supported the call for a dedicated and coordinated approach to supporting and funding content, talent and new ideas, to give our sector and businesses the cultural capital to innovate. In my own commissioning experience at the BBC and Channel 4, as well as the success UKIE has seen through our initiatives such as Games London and Digital Schoolhouse, the need to fund and celebrate the diversity of games as a key part of culture brings enormous longer term economic benefits.”
TIGA boss Dr Richard Wilson added: TIGA stands for games developers and digital publishers and our objective is to strengthen the games industry. We should introduce a British Games Institute to drive the sector forward. We would welcome the BGI implementing TIGA's long standing proposal for a Games Investment Fund, increasing productivity in the industry by working with leading universities – particularly TIGA Accredited universities - to promote best practice, and promoting British games culture with a new national games week filled with events, hackathons and competitions around the UK.”