September 2, 2009
TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, today announced the Play Together services are now fully live on www.tiga.org.
The Play Together initiatives, launched in conjunction with NESTA, The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, focus on fostering innovation, collaboration and communication between UK video game companies and with other creative industries such as TV, music and film. The 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, allowing developers to quickly upsize or downscale their teams 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.
Industry Services: a service for UK developers and suppliers to promote their capabilities and specialities 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 forum for UK video game companies and associated services to promote employment opportunities.
To date over 100 companies have signed up to use the Play Together services, and feedback from the industry has been very positive.
Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO explains: We have had a great response to the Play Together service. Over 70 companies have signed up to Creative Industry Switch alone, including big names such as the BBC, Channel 4, Press Association, Warp Films and Breakthru Films. For the games industry, Industry Services and Jobs Board have been two of the most popular initiatives, with over 80 companies signing up to these services in total.
Jon Kingsbury, Director of Creative Economy at NESTA adds: NESTA has been pleased to work alongside TIGA to drive forward this innovative yet practical portal to facilitate collaboration between the creative industries. The ultimate aim is to support company growth and skills development.
Senior industry figures have backed the scheme and worked closely with TIGA and NESTA to provide feedback on how the services can work in practice.
Charles Cecil of Revolution stated: Industry Services is fantastic and makes communication much easier. It will be extremely useful and allows us to search for what we want. It is a great development for the games industry across the UK."
Gareth Edmondson of Ubisoft Reflections adds: There is no single place for our industry to use as a resource. The Play Together initiatives are just what the games industry needs."
One of the most innovative Play Together initiatives is the new Industry Sharing service, which allows developers to share employees on a flexible basis, helping companies manage the manpower swings often required during a development cycle. TIGA has been working with city law firm and TIGA member Osborne Clarke, as well as other TIGA members to provide a simple tool kit for potential users.
Lorna Evans, Play Together Project Manager explains: It was clear to us that to make Industry Sharing work for employees and employers we needed to provide a flexible but comprehensive HR framework. This tool kit will take the red tape out of Industry Sharing, so companies can use the service with minimal paperwork and fuss.
Pam Williams, Head of Human Resources at Kuju Entertainment stated: Managing the fluctuating resourcing requirements of development cycles has always been a challenge for the industry. The Industry Sharing scheme introduced by TIGA is an innovative approach to try to address this issue, and ultimately make the industry more efficient and robust. At Kuju we have been working closely with TIGA to ensure Industry Sharingworks for both the participating companies and the employees. We hope the scheme will help to reduce recruitment costs and retain people in employment.
For more information about Play Together, or to sign up, please visit www.tiga.org.
<1>The Industry Sharing, Creative Industries Switch and the Jobs Board are free and open to all for 6 months. After 6 months some initiatives, for example, the Jobs board, may be subject to a small fee (lower for Tiga members). The Education Exchange will be free to Tiga members. The Industry Services initiative is open to all UK game developers, third party suppliers, relevant freelancers and affiliate industries, with the approval of Tiga.