Ukie outlines its 2019 general election manifesto for the UK video game industry

Ukie, a trade body for the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry, has outlined its manifesto for the 2019 general election, setting out how it believes the next Government can support games development in the UK.

The Next Level manifesto, which calls for public funding to “support creation of cultural video games, UK Games Fund and regional growth”, has outlined 10 key policy recommendations that it believes could make the UK a better place to make, sell, and play video games.

The 10 key proposals are as follows:

  1. Providing public funding for cultural video games from sources such as the Arts Council and National Lottery, bringing the funding of games in line with other creative industries.
  2. Assist the sector’s efforts to scale up regional interactive entertainment clusters, creating extra jobs and driving economic growth across the whole country.
  3. Promote the UK’s regional video game industry success story further by funding new, or existing, local game festivals akin to the London Games Festival.
  4. Extend the UK Games Fund for prototyping video games and establish additional funding for mid stage projects to help turn promising concepts into sustainable businesses.
  5. Encourage the use of games as a classroom tool across all subjects and change Ofsted inspection criteria to prioritise creativity.
  6. Aspire to turn every school in the country into a Digital Schoolhouse to bring its inspiring play-based approach to teaching Computing to every child.
  7. Grow the esports sector by providing public funding for grassroots organisations, ensuring leading international esports talent can enter the UK and to create the infrastructure to help UK esports businesses reach a growing global audience.
  8. Advocate, in partnership with industry, the use of games as a key digital literacy tool for people of all ages to safely navigate the online world.
  9. Support from Government for our efforts to improve diversity in the sector, following the results of our diversity census (due for publication in early 2020).
  10. Government, academia and industry to work together to support robust research into the way players engage with games.

“We call on the next Government to confidently support the video games industry, which is a high-growth, innovative and nationally significant creative industry,” said Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie. “The UK games industry’s thriving development scene needs support to create engaging thought-provoking entertainment for diverse audiences.

“By unlocking incentives already available to fellow creative industries, the next Government would encourage thousands of small and medium-sized video companies to invest in diverse talent and develop bold, original content – further increasing our sector’s global standing.”

The manifesto can be read in full here.

Fellow trade body organisation TIGA has also recently outlined its new vision to grow employment in the games industry in the UK by nearly 30 per cent in the next four years. Using calculations by Games Investor Consulting to measure the impact of TIGA’s “manifesto” proposals, the organisation believes “significant growth is possible” and has outlined plans on how it believes this growth can be achieved by working with the UK government. 

Its plans include aspirations to launch 198 new studios between now and 2023, and grow sector staff from 14,350 to 18,300. It also hopes to see an expansion in the overall games company count from 992 to 1,200, and an increase in annual investment by games development companies from £818 million to over £1 billion.

“The UK video games industry provides high skilled employment in high technology studios and exports content all over the world,” said Jason Kingsley OBE, TIGA Chairman and CEO and creative director at Rebellion. “The Parliament and Government that is elected on 12 December have an opportunity to back successful industries with potential, including the video games sector. Reinforcing successful sectors in expanding markets will help to grow exports, employment and investment.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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