2010 will be remembered as a tough but successful year for the video game industry. It was the year that saw casual and online games played through social networks emerge from boxed products' still large shadow as key forms of interactive entertainment. It seemed everyone was playing Angry Birds at some point this year – including David Cameron – and its success was an indication of how widely gaming has spread.
2010 will also be remembered as the year UKIE came into existence to represent the interests of the interactive entertainment industry.
It is an exciting time and we need to work together to make sure the UK is at the forefront of this new global wave of gaming, and that UKIE as a trade body is capable of representing all the interests of this ever-changing and diverse industry.
To do this we are currently developing our long-term plan around four key areas – business support, IP protection, health and social responsibility, and skills and education – making sure what we do delivers value to our members, whatever their business. One of the benefits of joining UKIE is that we operate a ‘one-member, one-vote' policy so we all have an equal say in UKIE's activity. If you're not a member, make sure you join so you can help shape the industry's future.
UKIE's long-term plan will take shape over the coming months. Key to its success is continued collaboration with government, ISFE, Tiga, schools and other academic institutions, creative industries and each other.
We will also be working hard to make sure we offer our members the services they need, including a series of member business seminars. These will be led by key industry figures, debating and advising on the big commercial issues and opportunities facing the industry.
Another of UKIE's key goals is to promote a positive image of our sector to the public and to dispel common myths that remain around the industry. Many of you will have seen UKIE's contribution to the recent Panorama report into gaming addiction. Whatever your views on the content of the programme, it was interesting to note the lack of public response to it – perhaps indicating a positive shift in opinion towards games.
However, excessive gaming remains an ongoing topic that UKIE shall be dealing with, along with other recurring negative allegations such as linking games to violence, obesity and epilepsy. We're there to act as a buffer between these negative views and our members, and to develop evidence to counteract unfounded accusations.
This is a positive industry, with lots of good news stories to tell – from games-based learning in schools to innovative new business models and some of the best creatives in the world. We shall be promoting the industry as a force for good whenever we get the chance.
Happy Christmas to everyone.