British games trade body Ukie announced today that it's signed two significant companies to the organization: Riot Games and Jagex. Membership in the trade body has reached 365 game companies and has grown 400% since 2011, "way above the 13% increase in games companies in the UK over the same period," Ukie noted.
Phil Mansell, COO and acting CEO of Jagex, said, "Jagex has enjoyed a great relationship with Ukie for many years and participated in its event initiatives at China Joy and Gamescom and now we're proud to make a commitment to support Ukie's work representing the industry by becoming members.
"Jagex continues to be a success story for the UK's game development and publishing sectors. From an entrepreneurial start up in 2000 to being united with FuKong Interactive Entertainment in 2016, Jagex today is the western arm of a global games group. The commercial performance of our RuneScape portfolio has never been stronger and we are pursuing further growth through both investment opportunities and by expanding our offerings with additional titles across multiple platforms. We are also extending our development and publishing partnerships for PC and mobile and ready to talk to studios across the Ukie network as we look to invest in and commission new titles."
Riot Games' Mark Cox, UK Head of Publishing, said, "With Riot Games developing a publishing and esports organisation in the UK we felt that we should take an active role in helping shape and guide the UK esports scene. It's vital we support the players, professional organisations and pro players across all franchises allowing this amazing sport and community to thrive, ultimately putting the UK on the map as a powerhouse in esports. At Riot we are committed to helping Ukie and its members learn and develop, as this ultimately benefits all UK gamers."
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, added, "It has never been more important for the games industry to be speaking with one united, collective voice. We are delighted to welcome two such influential companies as Jagex and Riot Games to our membership and look forward to working closely with them in the months ahead. Ukie continues its ambitious plan to make the UK the best place in the world to develop and publish interactive entertainment and welcomes all games businesses looking to work with us to help meet this ambition."
Ukie remarked that its membership has been diversifying in recent years along with the industry itself. Apart from VR/AR and AI companies, the addition of Riot as a member is in line with the rise of esports and competitive gaming. Ukie has said that it's keen to ensure that the UK becomes a hub for esports as the industry matures.