In its own words, the trade body runs through its offer to start-ups and studios

REPORT: ‘What does Ukie do for developers?’

Ukie today took the wraps of a new strategy that will see it aim to serve games developers even better.

As part of the strategy, it has published this guide explaining what the trade body actually does for games developers in the UK…

We have supported the development community since Ukie was formed in September 2010. We now represent many UK development studios: from promising start-ups like RIE Studios, rising stars such as Six to Start, Mediatonic and Mind Candy, as well as established bigger studios like Creative Assembly and TT Games.

We’re committed to growing, supporting and promoting the evolving UK development sector. We are so committed we have developed a manifesto for development communities which will be published soon.

Here’s some of the things that we’ve done and that we have planned, to help games development to thrive in the UK:

Products and services:

We have created a set of products and services as part of our new programmes of activity that will help development businesses to survive and thrive. This includes:

· Free Quick Guides to issues facing companies such as access to finance, different models of publishing and discoverablilty

· Best practice guidelines eg downloadable standard contracts support

· Research and insight into new marketplaces and player behaviour

· Mentoring – teaming up with NESTA to provide access to some of the big names in the games industry to give young businesses valuable advice

· Ukie directories of VCs, Angels, competitions, regional growth funds, HR services, legal services

· Regional masterclasses from leading experts

· Academic research placements for small companies

· Speed dating events for developers to meet developers, publishers to meet developers and businesses to meet investors

· Investor ready toolkit – an online resource available to members to serve as a guide and pointer to growing your business or starting your business in the UK (eg advice on HMRC payment systems, kpis development, doing business in the UK checklist

· Regional and Ukie based networking events and talks eg Thurs@3 events

Political campaigning:

We’ve got a proven track record of delivering political campaigns that bring real benefits to the UK development sector, a fact acknowledged by policy makers and minsters.

Amongst our current political campaigns are:

· Next Gen Skills – we created and continue to lead a cross-industry coalition that has successfully called for computer science to be introduced onto the national curriculum

· Tax breaks – through our nationwide consultation programme we are working UK developers and government to help shape the tax credits system that is being introduced next year

· Crowd funding – we’re always looking at opening up innovative new ways of financing for UK developers and are working with government to help make crowd funding as effective as possible for games businesses

Supporting talent:

We want to ensure that the industry has the right flow of talent coming through and help to create the next generation of Uk developers. So, as well as running the Next Gen Skills campaign to get computer science on to the national curriculum we also support talent in other ways:

· Creating the Video Games ambassador campaign (in partnership with STEMNET) – getting volunteers from the industry into schools to talk to children about the games industry – so far the Ambassadors have spoken to over 8000 school children throughout the country. This will be relaunched and promoted to get a diverse range of well equipped ambassadors on board as part of the Talent Development Programme.

· Investing in games industry talent through supporting key educational projects and indie developer competitions, including: Dare To Be Digital, Games Britannia, BAFTA Young Games Designer

· Student membership – We will be offering students from games industry courses a simple package of benefits including discounts on events and software and networking opportunities with established businesses.

Listening to the industry:

The Ukie team are all passionate about the industry that we work for and we’re always here to listen to developers and learn what they want from us. You can talk to us directly on about what your needs are.

We are committed to get development representation throughout our sub groups and our Board. We have set up a new Developer Group chaired by Ian Livingstone that meets regularly to discuss the issues that are facing those in development and to make sure that we’re always delivering what developers need.

PlayBeerFridays – Every Friday we have developers visit Ukie offices and talk about their games and their businesses giving us the chance to understand more about what they need, keep up to date with the latest technology and business models and of course play some of the great games coming out of UK development studios so that we can spread the word to the policy makers and media we talk with regularly – all over an end of the week beer. Please let us know if you’d like to join us for a Playbeer Friday.

Delivering value for money:

We know that developer businesses and micro studios – start ups in particular – need to make every penny count so Ukie is focussed on delivering tangible value for money membership. We offer flexible ways to pay our rates which start at £500 a year. We also have special rates for start ups. Talk to to find out more about membership options

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