A group of tech industry figures from the UK are demanding government support to promote the country’s video games sector, which they say is “underrated” and “overlooked” despite contributing over £1.2 billion to the country’s economy annually.
The group, which includes Rebellion (Sniper Elite) co-founder Jason Kingsley and Facebook VP Nicola Mendelsohn, wants the government to help fund a “British Games Institute,” which would be modeled on the British Film Institute, to help the games industry overcome challenges such as lack of recognition, funding issues, and more. They referenced hit video game series such as Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider as examples of British-oriented video games that have helped UK’s games industry to become one of the largest in Europe.
The press release states:
Games such as the Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider series, LittleBigPlanet, Runescape, Total War, Football Manager, Lego, Forza, Worms, Batman and Golf Clash have made the UK Europe’s second largest video game market after Germany, and usually in the top 5 largest producers of video games after the US, Japan, China and Canada.
Yet despite growing faster than any other creative sector and adding over £1.2 billion to the UK economy each year, the UK games industry faces some significant challenges: access to finance, cultural recognition, access to skills and diversity in its workforce. Until now there has been no single national public organisation to support and amplify the huge impact the games industry has on the British economy and its culture.
The government has yet to formally respond to the proposal of a British Games Institute.