Blitz founder and CEO Philip Oliver is calling on UK developers to sign up to Made In Creative UK and help promote the British game industry to the country and rest of the world.
Launched last month, the scheme aims to encourage public awareness of UK game development through the use of a new iconic logo to be displayed on UK-made games.
Speaking to Develop, Oliver, who started the Made in Creative UK initiative, said he was inspired by the Livingstone-Hope report which made the observation that, when it interviewed kids, parents, teachers and the general public, less that five per cent thought games such as Tomb Raider, LEGO Star Wars and Grand Theft Auto III were made in the UK.
He said that through the new initiative, UK developers could help educate consumers on the vibrant development industry in the country, and encourage the next generation of talent to make a step into the games sector.
“It kind of got me thinking that here’s an observation which is quite bad because if we’re trying to inspire the next generation of kids to learn the skills the industry will need then they need to actually believe that there are careers in the UK, and they don’t actually have to move to Japan and America to find work,” he said.
He added: “With the fact that all of these devices are connected these days, if you had a logo you could actually make it clickable and link through to a website to actually showcase the number of game developers we have in the UK.
“Then people will suddenly realise we’re actually a major provider of video games to the whole world, we’re really good at it, we make an awful lot of games, and actually it means there must be an awful lot of jobs in this.
“In fact, this website could also be a bit of a gateway to other things like Universities. It could show career paths. So if you’re an artist and you want to get into art, then what are the skills you would need to pursue this.”
Made in Creative UK is currently endorsed by a plethora of industry organisations, including trade bodies Tiga and UK, Next Gen Skills Academy, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Creative Skillset and the department for culture, media and sport, to name a few.
73 studios of all sizes have also signed up to the initiative, including Sports Interactive, Rebellion, Revolution Software, Jagex, Geomerics, Mind Candy, Mode 7, Frontier, Blitz and Crytek UK.
Oliver explained that where the logo is displayed is completely up to developers, and that it can be visible in both games and websites, either as part of the loading screens, or a small stamp-sized logo in the corner.
He said any developers concerned about certain countries taking a dislike to the logo could turn it off in specific territories if needed.
“Firstly, if it’s displayed in the UK we’ve achieved the getting it out to the UK public, gamers and the next generation. And two, if we got it out to the Americans, well from a global industry and export trade view, that’s where most of the investment, commission and work and everything is coming from.
“So you’re raising the profile of the UK industry if you do that market.”
Oliver went on to say that the scheme was not for profit, and solely to benefit the UK game industry and promote it to consumers, and Blitz would happily cover any small costs incurred through using the logo.
“This is just about the good of the UK game industry,” he said.