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UK industry veterans call for government to form British Games Institute

Proposal by Ian Livingstone and Rick Gibson has the backing of both UKIE and TIGA, wants to fund 40 games per year

On the day the UK government has announced its new Industrial Strategy, two long-serving members of the games industry are calling for the formation of a brand new industry agency.

Ian Livingstone and investment consultant Rick Gibson have drawn up a proposal for the creation of the British Games Institute: an organisation that would be founded with government money to improve the nation's games production, culture and education.

Prime Minister Teresa May identified the Creative Industries as one of five key sectors that would be assisted by the Industrial Strategy, but the duo observes that games is currently one of the least well-funded.

The proposed agency would take inspiration from the British Film Institute and could "help plug the finance gap that can hinder or damage fledgeling studios", as well as promote the positive impact of video games.

It has the backing of both UK games trade bodies, UKIE and TIGA, and is calling for further industry support. Those interested can find out more at www.britishgamesinstitute.com.

If approved, Livingstone and Gibson intend to set up the BGI to fund the production of nearly 40 "cultural games" every year, with grants of up to 500,000. Funding would also be available to games that help teach children the core STEM subjects, with the BGI eventually tackling the industry's skill shortages and working with universities to ensure the latest techniques and best practices are being taught.

They also intend to start a national British Games Week, expanding on what is currently being explored by the London Games Festival by celebrating games culture around the country and highlighting the major development hubs found in key towns and cities.

"The BFI is a remarkable organisation doing valuable work funding commercial film production, research and educational projects as well as heritage and training projects," said Livingstone. "We want to use the BFI as a template for a new agency funded by new government money to deliver long term impact for the video games industry.

"We believe that games should receive the same recognition and status as other British Creative Content sectors. It should win funding in proportion with its achievements and its massive potential for growth.

"Games play to the core strengths of the UK, creativity and technology, and now we need more funding to trigger more jobs, growth and more global blockbusters. We must encourage more games investment by structuring the funding so it widens the investment circle and helps safeguard success by providing mentoring."

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Latest comments (2)

Chris Payne Managing Director & Founder, Quantum Soup Studios10 months ago
This is a really great idea; hard to argue against given that it mirrors the existing BFI, and timely given the release of the Modern Industrial Strategy green paper.
However, it's kind of sad that something actually having the backing of both UKIE and TIGA is such a rare and strapline-worthy occurrence...
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises10 months ago
20,000,000 here, 20,000,000 there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

(40 games x 500,000 = 20,000,000 per year)
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