UKIE announced last week that director general Michael Rawlinson has decided to leave the organisation, after almost 12 years there.
Rawlinson spent his last two years at the trade body – originally named ELSPA – as director general. And during his time in this role he has significantly raised the profile of games within government, helped combat piracy and oversaw a complete rebrand for the organisation.
His biggest achievement, though, was in establishing PEGI as the sole system of classification for video games, a system he helped create in the first place.
As the ambassador for the UK games industry, Michael Rawlinson will certainly be missed. And we eagerly await to see where he turns up next.
Disney Interactive Studios, country director for UK and Ireland and regional trading director
“Mike has made an enormous contribution to the smooth running of the games industry – often well below the radar of many of us who work in the industry. He has orchestrated a very successful series of activities that have brought the industry close to the political community of all colours; as well as a wide range of other interest bodies in advertising, child protection, health and education. And more visibly he defended game creators and publishers against the headlines of ill-informed and out of touch media firestorms.
"Regardless of the curve balls thrown, he’s always got a friendly welcome. All at Disney wish him the very best for the future.”
Microsoft, UK GM for retail sales and marketing
“Mike has made a great contribution to the industry through his work over more than ten years, but he has been particularly instrumental in our strategy to ensure PEGI is adopted as the core rating system in the UK and Europe. I wish him the best of luck and good fortune in whatever new venture he decides to take on.”
SCEE, director of consumer services
“I have had the pleasure of working with Mike as a member of the UKIE Board for the last three years, during a time of great change and challenge. His knowledge of the political landscape and his detailed understanding of a multitude of complex policy areas have helped to positively shape our industry.
“I will of course miss his flamboyant shirts, but above all I’ll miss Mike – a thoroughly decent guy. I wish him every success for the future.”
Eidos, life president
“Mike was a dedicated and respected servant of ELSPA for many years and led the association through its metamorphosis into UKIE where he served as director general. He was a great lobbyist and led the UKIE campaign to have PEGI adopted by law in the UK. He headed up many other initiatives that were so beneficial to the industry, especially UKIE’s anti-piracy unit. He was a great ambassador for the industry and an altogether good guy. He will be greatly missed.”
“I have worked with Mike for 10 years since I joined the ELSPA board in 2001. Mike was general manager and was smart, efficient and above all a pleasure at all times to work with.
“When he stepped up to the top job as director general in 2009, he oversaw the transformation of ELSPA to UKIE and led our political activity which delivered not only a pan European Age Ratings system, but helped politicians understand the true value of the computer and video games industry to UKPLC.
“Mike has been and always will continue to be a kind, considerate and thoroughly professional man. Above all he has integrity and honesty which mark him out as a true gentleman. I am proud to have worked with him and proud to say he has become a good friend. I wish him the very best with his next move and we at UKIE will miss him greatly.”