Tiga and NESTA launch the Play Together Initiatives

June 15, 2009

Tiga, the trade association representing UK game developers, and NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, today launched a set of targeted initiatives aimed at helping the videogames industry maintain its position as one of the UK’s most successful and vibrant creative sectors.

The initiatives, named‘Play Together’ , focus on fostering innovation, collaboration and communication between UK video game companies and with other creative industries such as music and film. The key Play Together initiatives are:

Industry Sharing: an innovative new service that enables UK developers to share employees. Available staff can be shared with other UK developers on a flexible basis, allow developers to quickly upsize or downscale their teams, a common industry difficulty, using local area or UK wide talent.

Creative Industry Switch: a forum designed to enable videogame developers to collaborate with creative people from other industries, such as TV, film, music and animation, as media technologies continue to converge.

Tiga-NESTA devised the Play Together initiatives following feedback from the videogame industry, which pointed to the need for a more inventive approach to the skill shortages UK developers face. Tiga-NESTA hope the Play Together initiatives will promote innovation within the games industry, help videogame developers maximise efficiency, potentially avoid redundancies or costly outsourcing, and compete more effectively in the global market.

Additional Play Together initiatives include:

• Industry Services: a service for UK developers and suppliers to promote their capabilities or locate a supplier.

• Education Exchange: a service providing students, academics and professionals with information on education courses and opportunities for industry-university collaboration.

• Jobs Board: a dedicated forum for UK video game companies and associated services to promote employment opportunities to a targeted audience.

Information about the Play Together initiatives can be found on the new Tiga website, www.tiga.org, phase one of which launched on June 15, 2009. Following feedback an input from the games industry the full Play Together service will launch on www.tiga.org in July 2009.

Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO, stated:

“The UK video games industry competes successfully in a global market place on the basis of a creative, flexible and highly skilled workforce. However, we face a unique set of challenges: skills shortages, high recruitment costs, an unfavourable tax regime and limited availability of finance, all against a backdrop of a global recession and a relatively tight credit market.

“Tiga is working with NESTA to promote innovation and greater collaboration within the games industry as a means to overcoming some of these hurdles. The Play Together initiatives will help to cut recruitment costs, reduce skill shortages, promote collaboration and knowledge sharing within the games industry and with other creative sectors, and strengthen industry-academia links. These innovative approaches will reduce business costs and encourage innovation and so enable the UK games industry to remain at the forefront of what is currently one of our most successful creative sectors.”

Jon Kingsbury, creative programme director at NESTA added:

“We believe the UK video game industry is one of the shining lights of digital Britain. We want to foster this creativity and help the industry become even more successful in the future. What is clear is that innovation in all aspects of the business process is essential if Britain’s creative industries are going to remain competitive in the global market.”

Tiga also called on the Government to play its part in supporting the video games industry. Richard Wilson concluded:

“The UK video games industry and Tiga are rising to the competitive challenges that we face through innovation and collaboration. Yet our sector could be still more successful if the Government introduced a tax break for games production and increased the supply of skilled students. The Government must reinforce sectors with potential.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

About Tiga

Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. Tiga's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that Tiga members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. www.tiga.org

About NESTA

NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, a unique and independent body with a mission to make the UK more innovative. NESTA’s Creative Economy Programme works with over 300 businesses across the creative industries and tests the best way for them to grow. Together with our internationally acclaimed research, NESTA’s body of work on innovation constitutes a strong evidence base on how to drive growth in the creative sector. www.nesta.org.uk

For further information about Tiga, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; Email: richard.wilson@tiga.org, or, Eva Whitlow, Tiga PR Manager on: 07814 039 983, email eva@tiga.org

For further information about NESTA please contact Jan Singleton on 020 7438 2606 or jan.singleton@nesta.org.uk


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