British government body UK Trade & Enterprise is set to embark on a significant program of activity within the games industry over the coming year, and is working closely with trade bodies TIGA and ELSPA to this end.
The organisation will be taking part in a number of key initiatives aimed at supporting UK publishers and developers over the coming months, including participation in the E3 and EGN trade shows as well as involvement in overseas trade missions.
An industry meet and greet event at E3 in May, designed to allow key players to open relationships with UK companies, will be complemented by a VIP reception at the European Games Network event in London in September, which will be held in co-operation with the Mayor of London's office.
UK Trade & Investment will also be organising inward missions from the USA, Japan, Korea and other overseas markets around the EGN event, and arranging games industry participation in outwards missions from the United Kingdom, including those to industry events such as GDC and CITA.
"ELSPA is greatly encouraged and grateful for the increasingly positive and definitive support displayed by UK Trade & Investment towards our industry," commented ELSPA director general Roger Bennett. "UK Trade & Investment will be closely involved in a number of initiatives in 2004 as part of its commitment to supporting our industryâs efforts to maintain the stake-holding UK has in global games creation and development, and to help establish new avenues of opportunity at all levels of our business."
The involvement of the government body will be especially relevant to independent developers, believes TIGA CEO Fred Hasson. "The UK Trade & Investment programme is especially suitable for the SMEs who are independent developers," he said. "We have enjoyed working up a prototype sector support strategy with ELSPA and UK Trade & Investment which will work for the industry, and now the challenge is to ensure the industry reaps maximum benefits from the support packages available."