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Digital Minister wants UK Games Fund to continue

Margot James declares the £5m financing initiative a success but extension depends on next government spending review

The Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James has said she wants the UK Games Fund to continue beyond its current allocation of five years.

The MP was asked about the impact of the fund during a hearing with the Commons committee as part of its ongoing inquiry into immersive and addictive technologies.

When asked about plans for the UK Games Fund beyond March 2020, when the scheme is due to close down, James said her department "has judged it to have been successful, and we would hope to have funding to continue its good work."

"But that would be a function of the next spending review, so we can't be completely definite about that," she said. "It's certainly something we would want to continue."

The UK Games Fund launched in 2015, and has since spent £5 million on helping over 70 studios across the nation.

Writing for GamesIndustry.biz earlier this year, James praised the fund and other government initiatives designed to help grow the games sector.

Back in 2017, Sir Peter Bazalgette recommended the UK Games Fund be extended with a further investment of £23.7 million -- more than five times the original amount. Unfortunately, this recommendation was ignored.

Much of yesterday's hearing with James was dominated by talk of loot boxes, which the Minister defended but warned that companies with aggressive monetisation should be "brought into line."

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James Batchelor

Editor-in-Chief

James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006