London mayor Boris Johnson has announced a new £1.2m program, called Games London, which is designed to promote gaming and game development within London. The programme was revealed by London’s eccentric mayor via an in-game press conference which took place within Minecraft.
Games London is a collaboration between Film London, UKIE and the Mayor of London and will last for three years with its aim being to “capitalise on the Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR), which was introduced in 2014. It will attract investment to the UK and help businesses based in the capital generate £35 million in new revenue, adding nearly £10 million, as well as creating hundreds of jobs and boosting skills and training.” The scheme will also receive support from the video game tax relief fund which was granted in 2014.
As part of Games London, a new annual London Games Festival will also launch, with the first event taking place in April 2016. The LGF will run from April 1 to April 10 and will showcase and celebrate the industries huge cultural and economic impact as well as featuring a Games Finance Market, a series of BFI talks, EGX Razzed as well as the British Academy Game Awards.
In addition, a range of training and skills initiatives will be available to developers as well a new international business-to-business networking event to attract top investment to the UK.
“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 London mayor Boris Johnson.
“Through Games London we are supercharging an increasingly important sector for our economy, one that exemplifies the capital’s reputation for creativity and innovation. 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.”