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Game Republic relaunching with private funding

Northern network saved by local studios and universities

Game Republic, the Yorkshire-based games industry network, has been saved by an injection of funding from local businesses and universities - allowing it to continue to function after local funding cuts threatened its existence.

Originally founded in 2003 with the mission statement of "more business for Game Republic members", the network was incorporated into the larger Screen Yorkshire service in 2007 in order to access government funding for businesses.

When recent swathes of cuts affected that funding, Game Republic's future was in doubt. Managing director Jamie Sefton says that, without the support of local studios and academic institutions, things looked bleak.

"I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible support from Yorkshire's games industry and universities," said Sefton. "Now we'll be able to continue the work of the network to host regular events, access funding, encourage collaboration and bring major games companies into the region to help all our members - including our new Educational Partners."

Last night, the organisation staged a relaunch event to celebrate the brighter outlook. Several local member studios were in attendance, including Rockstar Leeds, Sumo, Revolution, Double 11 and Four Door Lemon. Support has also been pledged for the organisation from Leeds Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Bradford and trade body TIGA.

Game Republic has previously invested heavily in events and programs around the country aimed at supporting the industry. As well as helping to arrange the Leeds-based eurogamer Expo in 2009, Game Republic was behind the State of Independence conference in York in April, 2010 and backed the Games Invest event at the Eurogamer Expo at Earl's Court last year.

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Dan Pearson

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