Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced that game development in London will receive a £1.2 million monetary injection to help fund future developments. On top of that, to help promote the region, industry and the games it creates, there will be a new gaming festival held at Somerset House in April.
Set to take place between the 1st and 10th of April, the first of the presumably annual London Games Festival will play out in a similar fashion to similar shows. There will be consumer exhibitions, talks with industry leaders and insiders, as well as a business to business segment that is designed to help spawn new collaborative ventures. It’s also going to absorb two other events, including the Rezzed indie showcase and the Bafta video game awards.
As much as the purpose of this is to help showcase games to the world though, the real reason behind all of this is to make London and by proxy, the UK, relevant on the main gaming stage. While other countries have their own major gaming festivals, like E3 in the U.S. and Gamescom in Germany, the UK doesn’t have anything quite like that. That looks set to change with the new gaming festival.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xTaoGkvDWM’]
There was an annual gaming festival in London between 2006 and 2012, but organisers Ukie ended it a year later to refocus elsewhere. However as the Guardian explains, this time it’s going to be different, because although Ukie is still in charge, the mayor’s office is involved. That means more money, more cooperation and a more publicised event.
“From Ukie’s point of view the opportunity for the London and UK games industries is now more potent than ever after the introduction of tax breaks for games productions here, and the addition of computer science to the education curriculum,” said Ukie chairman, Andy Payne.
The question is, will the event be inclusive enough to bring in the more far-flung gaming hubs from the UK, or will this be something that pushes London firms only?
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KitGuru Says: Well, chalk up one more event KitGuru will be visiting this year. See you guys there.