The ten-day shindig aims to make London the capital of the £56bn global gaming market
There’s more to gaming than swashbuckling swordplay: it’s also big business. Which is why the Mayor of London (through its enterprise body, the London Enterprise Panel) has provided £1.2m in funding for the ten-day Games London Festival, which starts today.
Intended to make the capital the kernel of the £56bn-plus global gaming market, the event will feature B2B networking opportunities, training and skills initiatives plus trade missions aimed at attracting investment and promoting tax relief.
The Games London Festival will include 15 events across 10 different venues in the capital, which will include:
- The Games Finance Market (5-7 April), which aims to connect 30 British gaming businesses with global investors and partners from across sectors. A speed-dating style event will include over 500 pitching meetings
- Now Play This (1-3 April), a weekend of games in a special consumer exhibition at Somerset House
- The British Academy Games Awards (7 April)
- EGX Rezzed (7-9 April). Visitors get the chance to play over 150 console and PC games plus hear presentations by eminent developers
- A takeover of BFI Southbank, which will involve a Games Audio Summit (looking at the innovative use of music, sound effects and voice work in games) and a Virtual Reality Summit (4 April)
- The eSports Summit looking at the future of eSports and competitive gaming
The Games London festival is part of a three-year programme which will capitalise upon the Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR), introduced in 2014. It’s hoped VGTR will attract gaming investment to the UK, helping businesses generate £35m in new revenue, as well as creating hundreds of new jobs.
“London is already a star player when it comes to games and interactive entertainment, but international competition is fierce and we need to ensure our city can compete with our global gaming rivals,” said Boris Johnson, mayor of London. “From design to banking and civil engineering to film, games technology is being used in a host of different sectors. We are investing in a dynamic and constantly evolving industry to take London to another level as a world-leading capital for games and interactive entertainment.”
Games London will continue until 10 April
Tickets are available for individual events while an all-access pass costs £45, available here