Brian Baglow

Scotland’s games industry to be mapped via new innovator grant

The Scottish Games Network will carry out the first-ever mapping of Scotland’s video games industry, to ascertain the size and composition of the region’s games sector.

Scottish Games Network founder and director, Brian Baglow, has been awarded a Connected Innovators grant to carry out the research, which will capture the whole sector.

Scotland is home to world-renowned studios such as Rockstar North and 4J Studios (developers of the console versions of Minecraft), and the University of Abertay, creator of the world’s first video games degree, is often cited as one of the best places to study games in Europe.

However, the Scottish Games Network is concerned that areas of Scotland’s gaming ecosystem remains little understood and isolated from the wider digital tech sector and the rest of the creative industries.

The s research will map every participant involved in designing, developing, publishing, distributing, teaching, broadcasting, or supporting the games and interactive industries, as well as the games being released.

“Scotland’s videogames sector evolves incredibly quickly,” says Baglow. “More people than ever are now playing games. Alongside the major consoles, more and more gaming is mobile, casual, social and online. Esports has finally hit Scotland, with a growing number of players, teams and organisations now competing, while ‘applied games’ are bringing tools, technologies and techniques from gaming to areas such as education, healthcare, fintech and tourism.

“Despite this we’ve no hard data on the size or the composition of the contemporary games sector. Outside the major studios, there’s not a lot of visibility on the number of companies, the work they’re doing, or the games they’re releasing. We don’t know how many freelancers work in the sector, or how the industry interacts with other areas of Scotland’s tech sectors or creative industries. 

“This leaves us making guesses about how the sector is performing, and acting on incomplete, or non-existent information.

“This research will offer a snapshot of the games sector across the whole country, from academia to industry. It will provide a baseline, so we can start making more informed decisions about the future of the industry in Scotland and how best to support the whole ecosystem.”

The Scottish Games Network is now looking for participants across the industry to get in touch, so they can be included in the research, including:

  • Game developers (full-time, part-time or hobbyist)
  • Technology companies working in, or supporting the games sector
  • Software, design & digital companies which have created games, or interactive entertainment products
  • Esports teams and players
  • Twitch and YouTube streamers focusing on games
  • Freelancers who work in or support companies involved in the games sector
  • University and colleges offering games-related courses

Anyone interested in being included in the research should contact Baglow directly: brian.baglow@scottishgames.net.

The research’s results will be released in Q1 2021 and will be open-sourced in order to make it available to all interested parties.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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