UK games association Codeworks has outlined “survival strategies” following the news that its public funding parent – North East One – is threatened with abolishment.
The Lib-Con coalition’s emergency budget this week revealed plans to completely remove some, if not all, of the UK’s nine regional development agencies (RDAs). The government says it will in lieu establish local agencies, though detailed plans on this have yet to be revealed.
As outlined in previous Develop reports, at least five of the UK’s RDAs have connections with the games industry. North East One, for example, provides public funding to industry group Codeworks, which in turn organises the key trade event GameHorizon.
Yet, faced with the prospect of losing its public funding partner, GameHorizon conference director Carri Cuncliffe says that the group has survival strategies in place to cope.
"GameHorizon's lead by an industry advisory board, we have representatives of SCEE, Xbox, NVIDIA and it's kind of chaired by [Eutechnyx co-founder] Darren Jobling,” she told GamesIndustry.biz.
“We work really closely with the private sector and that includes attracting sponsors to events. Obviously people pay for tickets as well, so we do have that private income. More importantly, people actually pay membership to be part of the GameHorizon network,” she added.
“We're actually announcing at this year's conference that we're opening up that to national and international people. We have survival strategies in place to ensure that we if we're not going to be funded by the public sector, we will still survive as an organisation and we'll still be there for our companies.
"We're going to be here and we're going to be working very closely with the games industry to ensure that there's a membership organisation, an annual conference for games executives. "
Cuncliffe went on to express her disappointment at some of the further measures outlined in the Lib-Con’s emergency budget.
“GameHorizon sees it as a real shame that the games industry has not been recognised as by the government as something that this country could invest and excel in,” she said.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire-based network Game Republic said its parent association, Screen Yorkshire, was “urgently reassessing how it can best continue to support the games industry in the light of these announcements”.