The burgeoning British video game industry is set to hopefully grow even bigger after the announcement of Games London, a new initiative funded by the Mayor of London’s London Enterprise Panel. With a tidy initial £1.2 million investment – and an aim to raise a further £35 million in new revenue – the intention of Games London is to make the city into the video game capital of the world. It’s a bold ambition, indeed. To help with this, there will be a new showcase and celebration of UK game development, in the form of a ten day gaming festival. The London Games Festival will be held across various locations in London (including Somerset House and the BFI) between April 1st and 10th this year. It’s a further boost for UK games production in this country, after the UK Games Fund was launched by the government last year to help finance local video game production.
The news was suitably delivered by a Minecraft rendered Boris Johnson. If ever there was someone who fits right into a world of blocky pixels, it’s our Boris.
“Through Games London we are supercharging an increasingly important sector for our economy, one that exemplifies the capital’s reputation for creativity and innovation.”
“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.”
This announcement is a clear statement from the powers-that-be in London, that local gaming development should not only be financially protected but encouraged to push on and grow even further. But with that, there might also be a concern that commercial and business interests would then be served first before more creative endeavours. We want this project to mean that we get more locally developed games like Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and not an influx of uninspired, demographic targeted, Call of Duty clones. It’s encouraging then, to learn that Film London is one of the partners in this Games London project. They have already done a fantastic job of reigniting film and creative productions in London over the past 13 years, without seemingly compromising artistic integrity. We certainly hope to see similar results with Games London.
Now, can we please have Boris Johnson rendered in other video games? After seeing this from the Mayor, we think that BoJo would be perfect as the gloriously unsubtle battering ram that is Bullet Bill from Super Mario Bros.