The games industry was recognised in the New Year’s Honours List with the inclusion of TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson, who received an OBE for services to the industry. Congratulations from everyone here at MCV.
Wilson has been CEO of TIGA since 2008 and also serves as a director of Creative Skillset’s Video Games Skills Council; is a director of the European Game Developers’ Federation; is a Visiting Professor at the University of Portsmouth; and is a Vice-President of the charity SpecialEffect.
With the honour, he joins TIGA Chairman Jason Kingsley, also an OBE. Kingsley commented: "Richard has played a crucial role in developing ideas and campaigning for policies that are driving growth in the video games industry, including improved R&D Tax Credits, a Prototype Fund, and an expansion of the Shortage Occupation List. Above all, Richard led the campaign for Video Games Tax Relief and played the decisive role in achieving it."
Wilson said: "It is a privilege to serve as CEO of TIGA. I would like to thank the TIGA Board, the TIGA team, and the TIGA network for giving me the opportunity to serve the video games industry. At TIGA, my focus, objective and ambition has been to make the UK the best place in the world to develop games."
Damian Collins MP, Chairman of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, added: “Richard’s successful campaign for Games Tax Relief is benefiting both the games industry and the wider economy: the sector is growing at an annual rate of 7 per cent and employment in the sector is at an all-time high. Richard is also strengthening the supply of good quality graduates for the industry through his introduction of the TIGA University Accreditation System, while his establishment of the TIGA Games Industry Awards is helping to showcase best practice throughout the sector.”
Wilson is the only games industry recipient on the list of well over 1,000 people, though Demis Hassabis of AI firm DeepMind was also recognised. A quick search shows the list to be heavy on sports, entertainers, emergency services and other public sector workers. Games look to be largely unrepresented, especially compared to the broader tech industry, though the amount of behind-the-scenes recognition for the broadcasting and film industries is also very low.
While we can complain about the lack of recognition the industry receives in respect to its cultural and financial clout. We also need to make sure we put our best people (both creative and business leaders) forward at every appropriate opportunity. Honours are in part won by those with notable public profiles – and as an industry we need to ensure that we’re not missing opportunities to give our best talent a public stage.