The new London Games Festival is designed to support everyone in the UK games industry, not just those based in the capital.
LGF is taking place between April 1st to April 10th, and is a collaboration between UKIE, Film London and the Mayor of London, the latter of which has contributed 1.2m to ensure the event remains a part of the UK calendar for at least three years. It was announced via a special Minecraft-inspired video (pictured).
The Festival will feature a series of talks, a finance market, BAFTA Game Awards, Rezzed and more. It is part of the Games London programme, run by former MCV publisher Michael French.
The Chair of LGF and Games London, Andy Payne, tells MCV that it’s imperative that they don’t just talk about ‘London, London, London’.” Because games are far more regionally distributed in terms of the people who make them,” he says.
London will act as a conduit for investment in games across the UK. This is not just about London; it is about the UK games industry.”
He added: LGF can shine a light on, and help, the rest of the UK, because we have a digital business and we don’t have to be located in London. There are thriving hubs in Brighton, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Dundee, Edinburgh, Liverpool and many more. And these areas should grow bigger because of the digital nature of what we do.”
Payne hopes LGF will become part of the annual calendar, akin to London Fashion Week, and can help draw in investment from financial institutions and other countries. He says that the aim from Games London is to take on San Francisco to establish London as the global digital capital.
London is the capital of finance globally. Wouldn’t it be great if it was the capital of digital, too?” he asked.
If you look at digital capitals, San Francisco is perhaps No.1, but London isn’t far behind. There’s no reason why we can’t be No.1 in the world.”
What’s more, Payne hopes that this initiative, coupled with the introduction of tax breaks, should encourage the triple-A publisher to increase their investment in the UK, just as it did in Canada.
Britain, through London, has a good opportunity to be a place where the bigger companies can have their games made,” he said.
The UK can certainly punch equally and take-on big gaming countries like Canada.”