NESTA Reveals How to Play the Game

The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, (NESTA) today publishes two reports which provide new insight into the type of support UK video games developers need to remain a dominant player in the global gaming sector.

The first report, Playing the Game, provides insights into the practical support, such as mentoring and advice, which can help fledgling companies to grow and compete with overseas rivals. The second, The Money Game considers new forms of finance that the sector must explore in the event that it does not receive the Tax Credits it is demanding.

Playing the Game is the culmination of NESTA’s year long mentoring programme where leading video games developers worked closely with small and independent studios to provide advice on developing their business. It contains insights by the mentors– some of the most influential industry leaders– on the factors that lead to a successful mentor relationship. These include a practical guide to developing a business and also deal with many of the common developer issues such as how to work with publishers, how to raise finance and manage budgets and how to access markets. The book also reflects on the future of the industry.

‘The Money Game’ explores how the sector as a whole could benefit from encouraging more private and public project finance into the sector. It calls for policymakers to remove some of the barriers to private finance, particularly around the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts, and for the redeployment of some of the public project money which currently goes into film and TV towards video games development.

Both reports are being discussed at an event in London today, Thursday 25th February, with Ed Vaizey, MP, Shadow Culture Minister and leading personalities from the Video Games sector.

Jonathan Kestenbaum, NESTA’s Chief Executive, says:‘Through a blend of robust evidence and practical research we’ve worked with the sector to devise strategies that ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global video games development.’

Commenting on the report, Ed Vaizey MP says:‘The video games sector has a key role to play in the 21st century economy. Understanding how to convert creative talent into business success is essential if we are to realise the full potential of video games and the wider creative industries. I welcome this useful report and the insights it offers into how to do this.’

NESTAs mentoring programme, Raise the Game, included companies from across the UK who represented all platforms - on-line, console, mobile and advergames.

Playing the Game and The Money Game are available to download from

How to stay ahead of the game: Insights from video games sector leaders in‘Playing the Game’:

-“The gaming industry is changing and if I had just one prediction, it would be that the balance of power is switching away from the large publishers and towards the game developers themselves” Lol Scragg, Cohort Studios

-“Being mid-sized is no longer an option - be specialist and make it your business to seek out as many like-minded people as you can and trade with them as best you can” Andy Payne, MD of Mastertronic

-“Despite the huge growth of the market and incredible revenue generation by many titles, the industry is littered with failures and closures. That is all the more reason for creative leaders to understand business people and for business people to understand the creative leaders.” Ian Livingstone OBE, Life President, Eidos

Ends 25 February 2010

For further information, please contact:

Stephanie Robertson

Weber Shandwick

Tel: 0131 556 6649 or email:

Graeme Downie

Communications Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland

Tel: 07595 710 856 or email:

Notes to Editors:


NESTA is the largest independent endowment in the UK. Its mission is to support innovation to drive economic recovery and solve some of the UK's major social challenges. NESTA is a world leader in its field and promotes innovation through a blend of practical programmes, policy and research and investment in early-stage companies.

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