'Sole funder' Screen Yorkshire enters consultation process

Game Republic future in doubt

The future for industry network Game Republic was thrown into doubt today as its funding arm told Develop its position is up for review.

Screen Yorkshire announced it is “entering a consultation process with a number of staff regarding the future of their posts”, as part of an ongoing review of the future of the organisation.

A spokesperson for Screen Yorkshire told Develop that this meant its Game Republic division could be on borrowed time.

“Screen Yorkshire provides the sole funds for Game Republic, so we’ll have to consider its future as well as everything else,“ the spokesperson said.

Earlier an announcement from the group read: “Like many publicly funded organisations, Screen Yorkshire is facing difficult times as the government’s public funding cuts take hold”.

Game Republic is an industry-led games network for the Yorkshire and Humber region.

It has provided funding and support for a number of studios in the area.

It helped finance Revolution Software’s Broken Sword handheld project (a game which hit the top of the App Store charts), as well as invest in other nearby studios..

Game Republic has organised its own networking events, such as last year’s well-received State Of Independence conference, which had been attended last year by Culture Department minister Ed Vaizey.

Game Republic also helped bring the Eurogamer Expo to Leeds, the spokesperson said.

Studios within Game Republic’s remit includes Rockstar Leeds, Sumo Digital, Team17, Tuna and Revolution Software.

Screen Yorkshire is funded by the Yorkshire Forward, a Regional Development Agency.

Last year the Coalition Government said it would be scrapping, or replacing, Regional Development Agencies.

The government says this is primarily due to its ongoing focus on reducing the deficit, and not for party ideological reasons.

[Develop’s guide to how RDA cuts may affect the UK games industry can be found here]

“We are facing challenging times and reviewing the staffing of the organisation to ensure future stability and support for the region’s industry is a prudent move,” said Screen Yorkshire CEO Sally Joynson.

“Screen Yorkshire is looking at a number of options for the future, including a restructure of the organisation to reflect changing market conditions,” she added.

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