The inaugural event of TIGA’s Casual Games Committee took place last Friday.
Announced by the UK trade association in March, the committee’s goal is to support the UK’s growing number of social and mobile game developers.
Some of the companies that attended the inaugural event to network, as well as give talks, include the BBC, Autodesk, Channel 4, RIM and Zylom.
Develop asked some of the developers who attended to give their verdicts.
“Essentially the event had three distinct aims: to introduce this new TIGA initiative, to provide insight into the purchasing and production process of some of the UK’s biggest commissioners of digital content and finally to highlight both the remarkable achievements and challenges that face our currently extremely successful UK casual games industry.
“In all three regards the event was a spectacular success and credit should certainly go to Mike, Vanessa, Richard and all the speakers for making it such a special event. I look forward to the next one which I can only assume will include a fully formed plan for world domination,” says Chris Kempt, founder and MD of Kempt.
OUT TO CHERRY PICK?
Connecting developers with commissioners is a key goal for the committee. However, Oli Christie, CEO of Neon Play, feels some of the speakers were there to sell themselves.
“It was fantastic that TIGA organised the first and highly worthwhile casual games conference. There was a mixed bag of speakers from the BBC, Disney, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Channel 4 and UKTI and others,” says Christie.
“Most seemed to be selling what they do and were seeking to attract top developers, which wasn’t so relevant for us, as we’re creating our own IP. But what I found more useful really was the opportunity to network with some leading players in the mobile market and put names to faces.
“Hopefully it’s the start of a booming sector of the UK games industry and the government will realise this and start to back up the phenomenal talent pool we have with decent tax breaks, which puts us on a level playing field with other countries like Canada.”
TAX RELIEFS WILL STRENGTHEN CASUAL SECTOR
Christie’s call for tax reliefs is also supported by Koko Digital.
“I found Friday’s event to be really interesting, hearing direct from world leading brands on how they see the role that casual games will play within each of their respected markets. It also offered the opportunity to network with many like-minded companies, as well as chatting to the brands themselves,” says Chris Steele, director of Koko Digital.
“I think that over the next few years, UK’s developers will need as much help as possible to continue to compete against overseas development agencies, who often benefit from much cheaper labour and various tax reductions, so to get the recognition and support of TIGA is definitely a step in the right direction.
“I’d encourage all casual games development agencies to also now join the group, so that we can come together as one and discuss which areas the new committee can be steered to help us most, but I’d say that Friday’s initial conference was definitely a great start.”
If you’d like to learn more about TIGA’s Casual Games Committee or provide direct feedback, contact Mike Hawkyard: firstname.lastname@example.org.