Ukie annual review
Thank you to the Ukie Board 2012/13 Andy Payne OBE Chairman Mastertronic
Jonathan Grimes Microsoft Ltd Regional Director - Retail Sales and Marketing
Ian Livingstone CBE Vice Chairman Eidos Life President
Geoff Heath OBE Mediatonic
Neil Boyd Nintendo Europe Senior European Anti-Piracy Counsel
Miles Jacobson OBE Sports Interactive Studio Director
Noirin Carmody Revolution Software Owner and COO
Keith Ramsdale Electronic Arts Ltd Vice President & General Manager Northern Europe
John Clark SEGA Europe Vice President, Digital Distribution (PC),
Matt Spencer Take 2 Interactive Software Vice President EMEA & ANZ Sales
Rob Cooper Ubisoft Ltd Managing Director Northern Europe and Export territories
Alice Taylor MakieLab CEO and Founder
Spencer Crossley Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment UK Sales & Marketing Director
Jo Twist Ukie CEO
Fergal Gara Sony Computer Entertainment UK and Ireland VP and MD UK & Ireland
Paul Wedgwood Splash Damage CEO
Ukie Annual Review
contents 02 foreword
04 chairmanâ€™s report
20 promoting the industry
06 ceoâ€™s vision
22 games are GREAT
08 Ukie's year
24 get involved
10 view from the board
12 why Ukie?
28 membership benefits
14 our place, your space
30 future gazing
16 one year on
Cover image credit: Fat Pebble
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foreword - hon ed vaizey MP minister for culture, communications and creative industries
The video games sector is at the forefront of new ways of doing business, being brilliantly disruptive in bringing new digital products to market, in a never ending variety of ways. Whilst this disruption is exciting it does present challenges to government about how, when and where we should intervene in this new digital world â€“ ensuring innovation and growth but mindful of issues such as child safety and consumer confidence. Ukie is immersed in many policy debates. Over the last twelve months ministers and officials from across government have appreciated constructive views and evidence from Ukie on issues including consumer rights, intellectual property, in-app purchasing and child protection.
One of our biggest priorities of course is the introduction of tax credits for the UK games industry. Following EU state aid approval, we now have new tax credits for animation and highend television up and running and we remain 100% committed to getting our games tax credit alongside them as soon as possible. We are ensuring that the European Commission has all the necessary evidence and information to complete its investigation into the scheme and give its state aid approval quickly. Government has worked closely with industry, including the Ukie team, who themselves submitted a compelling case for video games tax relief to the Commission. Skills remains at the top of our agenda too. Ukie led the industry response to the recommendations of the ground-breaking Next Gen report on skills for the video games and visual effects industries, and government listened. Over the last twelve months we have introduced major new skills and education policies that benefit the games sector. For example, we have reformed ICT learning in schools and put computer science onto the national curriculum. The Next Gen skills campaign run by Ukie had a big role in bringing about this change. I am pleased to see Ukie now stimulating a similar debate about the importance of teaching art in our schools and the value of art-based professions to the UK’s economy. Government is helping the games, film, tv and animation industries' skills by adding some £16 million to the Skills Investment Fund over the next two years. The SIF, which is administered by Creative Skillset, will match fund industry investment in skills and training. It is vital that industry works closely with Creative Skillset to help them target their SIF support where it is most needed.
I welcome the active role that Ukie has taken in developing initiatives that this money can be spent on, including a Trainee Finder to help the best young graduates find trainee places at games businesses around the UK. I’m impressed also with the hard work Ukie and others are putting into developing the proposal for a new Next Gen Skills Academy to provide specialist education for young people wanting to get into the UK’s games and visual effects industries. The proposed Academy will need a strong commitment from industry and I am pleased to see many UK games and visual effects companies already pledging their support. The Prime Minister has spoken about how important it is that Britain competes in a ‘global trade race’. Working in partnership with UK Trade and Investment, Ukie ran the official UK stand at GDC San Francisco and Gamescom, which this year showcased 44 British businesses making it the biggest ever UK industry stand at the Cologne trade show. Gamescom also saw the unveiling of 3 wonderful new images for our hugely successful GREAT international marketing campaign, for the first time specifically celebrating Britain’s video games. (See page 22) As the games sector continues to innovate it’s difficult to predict the next policy issues. Whatever the future holds, my Department will look forward to working with Jo and her team, together making sure that we continue to have a games industry we can be hugely proud of.
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chairmanâ€™s report - andy payne OBE
Numbers. Data. Analytics. We are all driven, measured and rewarded on the basis of numbers, whether we like it or not. And our attention spans seem to be getting shorter all the time.
Whether it is 140 characters or 6 seconds, the key nowadays is to be brief. Trouble is at Ukie we have packed so much in over the last 12 months this is going to be tough. So here goes. Don’t wish me luck, it wastes time and besides luck has nothing to do with it. Last year the board agreed to invest in the future shape of Ukie. Just like the industry we serve, Ukie is undergoing a transition and hence we agreed to run a deficit of £186, 031 which we would fund from our reserves. Financially we changed our year end from May 31st to March 31st in line with the tax year and introduced a new accounting system which is geared for growth. Having only 10 months trading meant that turnover was down by 23.2% which when adjusted equals 5.5% year on year. We did lose THQ this year, one of our larger members, but despite this our overheads were controlled. Our balance sheet is in a very healthy state with reserves of £942,743. In the face of continued financial uncertainty all around us, this investment is clearly paying off. This time last year we had 136 members, we now have 181 members, a rise of 33%, all of who actively play a role in the interactive entertainment industry. A new office, offering 33% more high quality space for the same price we were paying, allowing us to run events and offer work space to our members has been delivered, on time and under budget. New team members covering policy, talent development and research have given us the extra punch we desperately needed, delivering 18 policy papers, re-launching the Video Games Ambassadors Scheme (VGAs) and most importantly helping to shape the delivery of the government's Skills Investment Fund that is being adminstered by Creative Skillset. We have shifted our focus from physical protection of our members’ IP to online promotion and protection. Deeper engagement with the members has resulted in six sub groups, which have delivered the first PC digital download sales chart and portal, a new
research insight briefing report, a rapid response team for breaking news and focused and comprehensive response to the OFT investigation of in-game purchasing amongst other key wins. Over £70,000 worth of free tickets to events endorsed by Ukie were given to members with further savings on services amounting to £2,200 per member achieved. Our relationship with Gfk Chart-Track continues to bring members discounts of up to 66% off reports, a saving of £80,000 pa to some larger members, as well as opening up key retail data to smaller, developer/publisher members who were previously unable to afford these data sets. As the official UK Trade & Industry Challenge Partner for Gamescom, GDC San Francisco and Game Connection Paris, we not only delivered the UK stand as the biggest country stand at this year’s gamescom, but we saved 44 companies over £50,000, something never before achieved. In the last Government Budget the production tax credits were at long last awarded to the games industry. For me this was a personal win, one which I always thought would happen, all be it for the second time, but this time without revocation! Currently and predictably we are working with the Government to get this through the EU. We are confident that this will be delivered and it will be the much needed shot in the arm for start-ups as well as established studios based in the UK. Long term this initiative combined with EIS and SEIS puts the UK firmly in the shop window for investors and entrepreneurs. We really are not only a great place to do business, we are now properly open for business. And all of these awesome achievements delivered by a team of just 11.
To those magnificent 11, I would like to thank you all on behalf of the board, the members and the industry in general. Together, we can continue to build an amazing industry that exports our culture, drives jobs and growth and above all provides fun and entertainment to millions, if not billions of people from around the globe. Bring on 2014. Trouble is at Ukie we have packed so much in over the last 12 months this is going to be tough. So here goes.
Don’t wish me luck, it wastes time and besides luck has nothing to do with it.
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ceoâ€™s vision - dr jo twist
Exciting times are ahead and we continue to be there to represent you and your interests so you don't have to, and we love it. Over the 18 months I have been heading up Ukie, we have been going through many of the same economic pressures and transitional headaches any SME and large company in our industry is under. More than ever before, I believe we are better together than alone. Sharing the burden, collaborating, being united is the only route to success. My aim for Ukie is that we are your support network, your family: we are here when you need us, and we go out of our way to make the UK the best place in the world to make and sell games. We want to be your catalyst, we want to be used by you, we want to be your loudspeaker.
But letâ€™s not forget the practical help our members need. Small companies with a small team need doors opened for them â€“ they need access to HR help, pots of money, investors, contract help, legal advice, office space, the best deals in dull things like insurance, the best talent, the best introductions to people who can make a real difference to you. Larger companies need help to transition business models, to deal with changing consumer relationships and behaviour, to find the best and new ideas, and to understand better how the audience they serve want their products, the best people who can make the best products in the world. These are all things I personally have needed as Ukie transforms itself, and have tried to secure and pass on to our membership. Over the last year, I have focussed on making sure our systems and our team is set up to be agile and responsive to our increasingly diverse membership needs. You can see by the infographics on the next page how much this diversity has increased. In fact, since we shed our skin from Elspa to Ukie in 2010, we have had a 429% increase in membership, and 32% year on year growth. The biggest changes at Ukie have been in staff, our membership makeup and our new home. This translates as being able to do more (for instance, responding to 18 government consultations, investigations or inquiries), launching our Student Membership Scheme to make sure we help fine-tune those in education to be the key talent we need and funnel them into the right jobs to safeguard the future of our industry, and providing hotdesking and free, flexible event and meeting space for our members. My priority has been to really focus down on doing the things that will help all our members do better, tangible business, whether that be through focussing on expos as the only UKTI accredited trade body to help businesses discover new markets and deals, getting thousands of pounds
worth of discounts that save you money, giving you more insight and data, and more connections with the cream of our talent pool. The whole team has been active in getting as many of you as possible involved in Ukie through sub groups, or the Board, or just by turning up at our new offices and hotdesking. Getting hands on, on your terms, means you are exposed to other people with whom you can talk over challenges, or strike new deals. The more our membership grows, the more people we get to know and can connect you to. A lot of this is serendipitous, but many members ask us to make specific introductions to others and this is incredibly valuable. We are re-structuring ourselves with a new website, and better direct lines of communication to make sure we fulfil your needs. There is always so much to do. Tell us how we can do even better over the next 12 months.
Getting hands on, on your terms, means you are exposed to other people with whom you can talk over challenges, or strike new deals.
credit: Nat Al-Tahhan
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one year in: view from the board Alice Taylor, MakieLab In my time as a Board member Iâ€™ve realised even more how important Ukie is. Without a trade body working tirelessly behind the scenes, we - the games industry - would have little to no representation in Parliament, at EU committees, in policymaking, in bulk-buying for events, and all sorts of hugely important stuff that benefits us as developers and publishers big and small. Ukie has been particularly influential and visible these past few years, on important topics ranging from tax breaks for our industry, to child safety policy, to improving incoming investment into the UK. Ukie is a powerful membership organisation, and I would like to see its voice and influence grow even stronger in the coming years. We're a small, indie business and by being part of Ukie, we get to stay across policy that will definitely affect our future business. I'm glad to have Ukie fighting for our corner at governmental level, and helping MPs understand exactly what it is that we, the industry, actually does. In my opinion, all UK games and interactive entertainment companies should be Ukie members. We all have opinions on topics ranging from whether or not the games industry deserves tax breaks, to whether or not the UK government should censor websites or other internet destinations that offer links to pirated material that might include some games. What's your opinion on censorship, or the cultural importance of videogames? What's your opinion on how children's F2P content should be regulated, or the policies being formed on in-game gambling or gachapon? By joining Ukie, you get to have your say included, on these topics and more. The Ukie board mainly comprises publishers, sales, retailers and some content creators. It has a lesser representation from indies (both publisher and developer), interactive entertainment creators, advergames or similar content creators, journalists, licensors, and similar industryrelated faces. I would like to see more industry diversity on the Ukie board, as it is, after all, the UK Interactive Entertainment trade body, representing the industry at all levels from one person in their back room, through to the largest videogames publisher in the world. If you get the chance Iâ€™d recommend putting yourself forward for election to the Ukie Board but this isnâ€™t your only route to getting involved as anyone from a Ukie member business can also join one the special interest Sub-Groups. What's to lose? Have a go! Join us!
Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive
Noirin Carmody, Revolution Software
By being a member of Ukie, your opinion is heard not just by your peers and colleagues, but also by other industries and government. You can make a difference, hopefully for the better, to this wonderful creative industry that we’re lucky enough to work in – and make sure that we’re encouraging the next generation of people in the UK to do it even better than any of us have!
Prior to joining the Ukie Board I honestly hadn’t realised quite how much they do to champion the games sector for both Developer and Publisher alike.
Being a board member has given me a broader understanding of the issues faced both by developers and publishers in the ever changing games world – hearing all sides of the story before giving my take on what needs to be done to improve things for everyone has been an interesting and exciting challenge, and the extra access to people on all sides of the political spectrum has been eye opening. Don’t be nervous about getting involved – while it’s a lot of work, it’s very rewarding. Not just from the perspective of doing some good, but also all the people you meet and new contacts that can help your business, big or small, in the long run. Neil Boyd, Nintendo One of the first things that struck me when I joined the Ukie Board was the sheer number and diversity of issues that Ukie tackles on behalf of the UK games industry. There really are some interesting projects in the pipeline which should benefit Ukie members large or small. For example, in the area of IP protection, Ukie is in the process of transitioning from a physical enforcement program to one that is more focused on digital threats. This is as a direct result of input from Ukie members and delivered through the IP Sub-Group. Indeed, Ukie’s Sub-Groups play an important role in directing Ukie on specific issues. I would therefore very much encourage members to join Sub-Group meetings where they are able to. As a member, this is where your voice will be most heard. With membership expanding at a rapid rate one of the challenges that Ukie will continue to face will be to keep all its members happy. There will always be some issues which will naturally unify the industry so that it speaks with one voice. However, there will increasingly be issues where members do not always agree on an industry position. In these circumstances, we must ensure that we follow the majority view. To do otherwise could lead to lack of inertia or ineffectiveness at a time when the industry really needs to be at its most agile. Again, it is the role of Ukie’s Sub-Groups that will be central in defining what is the majority view held by the membership. My overriding message therefore is get on the Ukie Sub-Groups. Your Ukie needs you.
Revolution joined Ukie to gain access to exclusive data and to be part of the bigger voice speaking to government on key industry issues and one of the things I’ve particularly valued is being able to tap into Ukie’s expertise on relevant policy issues for our sector. Ukie has an inclusive approach to all policy discussions including the recent tax breaks, but also in influencing maybe less high profile discussions, such as the inclusion of games industry role shortages on the government’s shortage occupations list (that affects where and how we can recruit people from). The entire Ukie team are well informed and always available to discuss any issues facing the industry. As a Board member I have welcomed the diversity of topics raised for discussion that included crowdfunding; child safety; consumer rights; games as art; in-app purchasing; skills, measuring the industry and more. I am further impressed by the openness and quality of the debate at Ukie Board meetings; these are developers and publishers who are in some cases competing hard with each other but when they come together under the Ukie banner they very much only consider the best interests of the wider industry. It can be a challenge to balance making a game in York with the responsibility of being a Ukie board member but I find attending the meetings has been incredibly rewarding, giving me the chance to network with some of the leading lights of the UK games industry and to make decisions that will have wide ranging and long lasting effects on the UK games industry. I’d recommend to any Ukie member to consider running for the Board.
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why Ukie? “The whole team at Indigo Pearl PR could not be happier with the extensive services that Ukie provides. Everything from industry expertise to promotion and support, the team are always extremely helpful. The use of the Ukie office boardroom is an absolutely amazing bonus, especially their brilliant new offices. It is lovely to have meetings in such a vibrant environment and the staff are always really friendly.” Caroline Miller Founder, Indigo Pearl
"Being a member of Ukie has been tremendously positive for our business. We've enjoyed the use of meeting space, accessed grants allowing us to exhibit at major trade shows, been fully supported and represented in political matters, and are part of a network of knowledge and industry expertise." Phil Gaskell Director, Ripstone
“Ukie have been incredibly helpful to us since we joined. We’re a small company without the resources for all the business development we’d like to do and services like access to trade shows with UKTI grants, events for us to meet publishers and events for us to network with other developers are a huge, practical help to us.” Iain Gilfeather Co-founder & CTO Fat Pebble
"Being a member of Ukie has helped us in many ways. Ukie provide free access to meeting rooms and hot desks if we need to meet clients in London which we have made use of on several occasions. The regular events they organise are a great networking opportunity and the information on UK games sales on different formats is always interesting reading." Andy Brammall Regional Sales Director, Unity
“The support that Ukie offer is both the voice and action that the UK games industry needs. As an independent studio we rely on the infrastructure and reach that Ukie provide, covering everything from free meeting space, industry promotion and networking events, to government lobbying, legal advice and financial support for trade overseas.” John Tearle Lead Designer & Founder, Flix Interactive
"We've found our membership of Ukie extremely useful and worthwhile. We believe the association performs a crucial function for the interactive industry in the UK, and in our experience their team has been incredibly helpful as our agency continues to promote video games and the integrated marketing possibilities of the category to brand clients, third party marketing partners. Whether it's access to the latest research and insights, help with introductions to industry participants, or use of their free facilities to introduce brands to the exciting world of video games, Ukie are always there to offer help and support." Michael Mann Brand Culture Sport & Entertainment
“I've been thrilled with many of the Ukie services. The highlights for me have been the free use of meeting rooms and hot desks at the new Ukie offices, which have proved invaluable as someone who isn't based in London but spends a lot of time there, and the recent gamescom stand, which had great facilities and was supported by UKTI grants making it extremely cost effective.” Ella Romanos Co-founder & CEO Remode
“As a small company working in the games sector, I have found the support offered by Ukie has helped me meet new contacts and gain real business. I was recently part of the Ukie gamescom trade delegation in Cologne and felt the stand offered real value for money and a professional meeting area in which to have business meetings. Ukie listen to their members and understand the industry and it shows.” Carri Cunliffe MD, Secret Sauce "Ukie is one of the most valuable resources available to any company involved in the online entertainment industry. I only wish other countries around the world had similar organisations for Virtual Piggy to work with. Ukie offer many excellent services to the industry but without doubt the most invaluable is intellectual property and expertise that Jo, Sam and the rest of the team so readily share. Our membership of Ukie has saved us a tremendous amount of time and money since we opened our European Headquarters in London this Year." Joe Peden General Manager, Virtual Piggy, EMEA
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our place, your space
The new office is only 5 minutesâ€™ walk from Holborn tube station at: 21-27 Lamb's Conduit Street London WC1N 3BD Email email@example.com if youâ€™d like to book
What are our members saying... We moved in to a new central London open plan office in July and the good news is all Ukie members can use the space for FREE. That means as a £500 member, for example, if you book the meeting room for one day, that’s your membership fee made back in one go! Our new space is flexible enough to do whatever you need, making it a comfortable place for you to work and collaborate. The space is perfect for members from all across the country and can be used as both a Londonbased meeting area and a place to develop or demo games. We want more members to come to us if they want to put on events too. For instance, this year we had the Indie Games Collective (run by two of our members) use our space for free to bring together 100 indies (members and non-members) to hear from Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and Amazon about developing for their platforms. If you hotdesk, it means that you can network with others who happen to be there. Sometimes great things happen that way. And it means you can earwig in on our conversations and be more involved. This year, we plan to put on some drop in surgeries too at our gaff, so that you can speak to experts. About the office space + hot-desking area for 8 (no need to book, just drop Dave a line to let us know you’re on your way) + two large private rooms with AV which can be combined to host 75 people theatre style + free wi-fi, projector, AV, PA system + fully equipped kitchen (catering provided on request) + sofa area to play games! All this is available to Ukie members for FREE as many times a year as you like. Non-members can also use it for a competitive rate.
"I wanted to put together an event that would be useful for indie developers to come to, something they could get together and learn something useful from. If Ukie had not supplied the space to allow this to happen I doubt we could have done it." Byron Atkinson-Jones, Founder, Xiotex Studios “Ukie's meeting rooms have provided a comfortable, professional and cost-effective place for us to gather the whole team (we've had our fair share of 'eureka' moments there).” Jay Bedeau, RIE Studios, RIE Studios “After looking for a venue in London to host a small press presentation we decided to use the meeting room at the new Ukie offices which fitted our needs. The room was the perfect size and was excellently equipped as well as a constant flow of coffee, tea and biscuits. Whether a small, private demo or a larger offsite company meeting, I would recommend taking a look at the Ukie facilities, we will certainly be back.” Mark Allen, Kalypso Media "Ukie's new office has been invaluable to us. We're based outside London, so we love having a friendly and centrallylocated place to hotdesk at when we're in town. Good coffee and office banter are a bonus, as are the shiny new conference rooms!" Mike Hawkins, Marvelous AQL Europe “The new Ukie facilities are incredibly useful if, like us, you don’t have a base in London. The two private meeting rooms are fully equipped for any meeting or press interview you may conduct, and the hot desks are a god-send if you need extra space to work outside of the office. If you need a location to conduct press interviews, Ukie’s facilities are perfect and, best of all, free for members to use! I will definitely be using this service again.” Yen Hau, Rising Star Games “We've used the Ukie meeting room on several occasions - as a studio who work remotely, it's important to have a relaxed, professional space where we can get together for face-to-face meetings. It's a great venue - the Ukie staff are really friendly and helpful, it's a nice space to spend intensive hours in, and there's usually something fun or exciting happening in the offices around you. As an additional member service, it's a real plus, especially for a team working outside of London - a free, pleasant and easy-going meeting space in the city is a huge bonus to being a Ukie member. Would really recommend it.” Dan Pinchbeck, thechineseroom
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one year on Your membership means a great deal to us. Not only does it mean we can act as an important and powerful network for you, your subscriptions mean we can invest in the right projects as well as the right people to help us, as a modern trade body, help you more effectively. Helping... you to get access to the money saving discounts, information, data, research, policy debates, support, finance and know how to make your business succeed. Representing.... your views and interests in policy making so that the conditions for your business to thrive are the best. Securing... your rights as a business to operate the business models you want and to trade in the best possible environment. Advocating... your businesses and games in a positive light in the media. Connecting... you so you can collaborate with others and make informed decisions by offering you access to member expertise, new markets and knowledge.
Making back your fee
New website, new deals
A big focus for this year is on saving you money: we can confidently tell you where you make your membership fee back in a year, through the savings and the access to experts and decision makers we give you and by being part of our family (page 28-29).
This year our new website will be packed full of new bespoke discount deals based on a groupon approach: the more members we have, the better the discount on essential services and help we can secure. Each member will be issued with a membership number in Q4 2013 which means it will be easier for you to claim your member discount. The site will also have extra, free downloadable content such as our Quick Guides. The blog will be the main way you can keep up with what we are doing, thinking, saying and meeting, and what various members are doing and thinking through a regular series of guest blog posts. There will also be a new newsletter and extra ones for you to opt into including an insight digest.
We are working hard this year to offer even more discounted access to products and services that your businesses need. Members get discounts on key services (like legal, tax, or PR), conferences, networking events, insight and advice on the latest games industry topics meaning that we arranged an average saving of ÂŁ2,200 per member in 2012. Ukie members also received more than ÂŁ70,000 worth of free tickets to events. Our new offices provide all members with free space to hotdesk, hold meetings, events, demos, or to just develop in.
People to talk to
Our services for you
Our team is fully committed to the games industry and is here to focus on what you need to do better business. We believe in having a lean, fast responding and agile team, and by recruiting a new Research Analyst, Osman Iqbal, and a new Talent Development Coordinator, Kim Blake (a role which is match funded by Creative Skillset) this year we have been able to focus more fully on the key areas that our members see the most value, alongside our member discounts, public policy and lobbying, research and data and skills development. By being able to build a small team of experts in house at Ukie, we can be your eyes and ears in all key conversations that take place about UK PLC and the future of our talent base.
Through your support, and your investment via your subscription fees, we can act on your behalf and solely focus on supporting, promoting and growing your businesses through:
Your say, your way We amplify your voice, and advocate on your behalf, but we can only do that by listening to you and providing the forum for members to shape what we do, how we do it, what we care about and what we say. Any members, in any role, in any member company, can get involved in our sub groups, which are chaired by members. These are themed around special interests and are the key way to guide what we do. We would like more of our growing membership to be a part of them because they give you important experience in participating with peers in practical working groups that make a significant contribution to policy and other strategic industry positions (page 24-25).
Policy matters Not that long ago it wasn't unheard of for senior MPs to be calling for some games to be banned. Now, senior MPs and the Secretary of State for Culture call us to visit studios. We speak to government and the media to make sure that the games industry’s voice is heard clearly on issues like tax breaks, consumer protection, child safety, age ratings, industry classification/measurement, computer science and skills, match funding for careers development. We have taken more than 10 MPs on studio visits, including the Secretary of State for Culture, Maria Miller.
Access to bespoke insight: We are the source of unique UK sales data (physical and digital) and produce trusted industry reports that give vital market intelligence. This includes new data, new charts, and bespoke research on what you want. Many members don’t realise they can also request, for free, desk research on specific topics, such as the children’s app market. If you need statistics, or qualitative work done, just ask Sam. Access to key data: Research and data has always been one of the key reasons members join us. Not only do members benefit from a significant discount on Chart Track data, they have also helped create the first PC Download Digital Chart based on sales. Anyone can join the project and if you put data in, you see all the other data for free. Access to people: With our growing membership representing all sides of the industry, we can help you meet other experts, games businesses, policy makers, investors and leading players in other sectors. We have put on several successful events for members in 2012/13 and have a suite of more informal events to give members important opportunities to meet new investors. Just pick up the phone/Skype/Tweet/email and tell us what you need. Access to IP support: We give our members value-for-money access to the services that they need to combat IP crime, as well as continuing to represent the games industry to government on all IP issues. We are modernising how we handle IP protection issues, and have recognised the changing needs of 21st Century games businesses. We have restructured the IP Crime Unit and are recruiting a specialist IP Coordinator to the team to make sure members not only get guidance on ways to protect their IP, but action can be taken on their behalf, at their request.
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Policy is important and our commitment to you is to make sure your voice and your opinion counts and makes the difference, no matter how small your business. Whether it be through social channels in an open way, one to one meetings, email, Skype, phone calls, or group meetings, we endeavour to find the best way for you to be able to feed into important policy debates. Where possible, we make sure we publish everything online and share thoughts with Tiga, to make sure we are united in what we want. Stopping stuff happening
As much as we can make things happen with your membership, we can also stop things from happening that would be unhelpful to your business. We know that respecting and protecting consumers, your players, is of utmost importance to you. But the draft Consumer Rights Bill could have posed lots of problems for our industry. We were very much at the forefront of helping government draft this legislation.
We have helped shape how the government's new ÂŁ1.5m Skills Investment Fund (SIF) will be allocated.This new pot is administered by Creative Skillsetâ€™s Video Games Skills Council, on which we sit. This is a key body that determines how industry funds are distributed. The SIF will pilot new schemes for publishers and developers: match funding for industry training courses and new trainees / graduates.
Jo sat on a roundtable with Jo Swinson MP to initially discuss our concerns and help her understand emerging business models in the industry. Thanks to our input representing what you wanted, the final proposals are more sensible and practical. The recent OFT investigation into in-app purchasing within games aimed at children could also potentially cause us problems. This is on-going, but we have been there at the start with members at our side to make sure we are guiding their way.
We have been the leading creative industry voice in transforming rules to help make our economy work for a digital interactive age. Our relationship with other key heads of creative industries has never been better and we sit on Boards with them on a monthly basis. We like to keep busy and that shows: our Policy Officer, Andy Tomlinson, has written 18 policy papers and contributed to key investigations and government consultations in the last year: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
IPO Technical Review of new Copyright Exceptions DCMS consultation on classifying and measuring the creative industries BIS consultation on Consumer Law and Digital Content (became Consumer Rights Bill) HM Treasury consultation on creative sector tax reliefs DCMS consultation on design of cultural test for tax reliefs HM Treasury consultation on draft legislation for creative sector tax reliefs European Commission investigation into games tax relief BIS consultation on Information Economy Strategy Migration Advisory Committee consultation on Shortage Occupation List European Commission survey on ecodesign – power demand of games consoles OFT investigation of use of in-game purchasing in mobile and online children’s games DfE consultation on Parental Internet Controls DCMS consultation on Exemptions to the Video Recordings Act and on Advertising in Cinemas Ofcom consultation on implementation of the online infringement of copyright (initial obligations) (sharing of costs) order 2012 Ofcom consultation on initial obligations code for Digital Economy Act DfE consultation on National Curriculum Reform Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into support for the creative industries Lords Communications Committee inquiry into media convergence
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promoting the industry
Whether it’s promoting careers in the games industry to school children or putting the focus on UK businesses at overseas trade shows, we’re always promoting the UK’s games industry, whenever and wherever we can. Develop's Top 100 This year we sponsored Develop magazine's 100 Top UK studios report and held the launch event for the project at our new offices. This is important as our industry needs to be measured accurately in order to sell ourselves to the rest of the world, and politically. We will be doing a lot more of this kind of mapping and data work to truly be able to shout about our success as a sector. + bit.ly/1bqI2z1
Next Gen Skills Our Next Gen Skills campaign has achieved great success in getting computer science back on to the national curriculum. The campaign’s new focus in 2013 is promoting the importance of art combined with programming to policy makers. It is essential that we have enough talented artists coming through our schools, not just for the games industry but other sectors too, like visual effects and design, to grow their businesses. + nextgenskills.com
Giving parents answers Games are now played by millions of people every day and parents often want to know how they can make sure that their children are playing games safely and sensibly. We set up askaboutgames.com last year to give parents a place to find out more about topics like age ratings, parental controls and in-app purchasing and give them the chance to send their questions to us to be answered. Askaboutgames. com now has over 20,000 visitors a week. We encourage all businesses to use the logo and link to the site. Go to askaboutgames.com to get the asset pack. + askaboutgames.com
Flying the Flag In 2012/2013, we built, branded and managed UK industry stands at gamescom, GDC San Francisco and GDC Europe. In December 2013 we will also manage a UK industry area at Game Connection in Paris. Over 70 UK companies have exhibited on our stands in the past year, and because we are the only accredited UKTI Trade Partner for the games industry we have secured over £70,000 worth of government grants for UK companies to attend these events. The games companies that have joined our stands have secured millions of pounds worth of new business and nearly 4,000 companies have visited our stands at these events. Feedback from exhibitors on the UK industry stand at gamescom, Cologne, August 2013: • • •
Potential new business generated at gamescom - £11m 88% of exhibitors were ‘very satisfied’ with their experience on the UK stand 90% likely to exhibit with Ukie again next year
“Gamescom was a huge success for UK games companies this year. Not only was it the largest and busiest gamescom ever, but the UK also had the largest, most active and bustling umbrella stand in the history of the show with 44 companies present. The quality of the businesses that presented their games and services at the stand was extraordinary” Miriam Ducke, UK Trade & Investment, British Embassy, Berlin.
Inspiring the next generation Inspiring the next generation of talent is vital for the games industry. We relaunched the Video Game Ambassadors scheme at our Westminster reception this year. We had 30 extra volunteers sign up, making a total of over 100 VGAs now operating throughout the country. Last year VGAs spoke to over 8,000 UK school children. We are looking for more people to become VGAs to share their experiences about making and selling games, telling their stories about how they got to be in their position – whatever their position. Our current ambassadors have done fantastic work inspiring thousands of kids since 2011 and we want different faces (including more women from the industry), whether you are in development, marketing or any other part of the sector, to sign up and inspire. The site will develop to be a place for ambassadors to support each other and share useful materials. + gamesambassadors.org.uk
Games Art Exhibition In Q4 2012 we held the first ever Games Art Exhibition at London’s City Hall, to celebrate the culture of games and the amazing art that the games industry produces. It saw rare and never-before-seen pieces from games such as Batman: Arkham City from London-based developer Rocksteady Studios, proudly taking their place beside pieces from legendary artists such as Yuji Uekawa and Yoji Shinkawa, as well as work from many of the UK’s best indie studios. All the works of art were auctioned to the public, raising £39,000 for Special Effect, a unique charity doing whatever it takes to help everyone with disabilities to have a better quality of life through games, art and technology. This financial year, we want to do it all again and use it to feature games music composing, attract investors from other sectors, and help support our campaign for art, as well as coding, in schools. Please get in touch with Jo if you are interested in contributing or sponsoring the exhibition. + londongamesart.com
Register your interest in discounted, hassle free attendance and access to UKTI exhibitor grants via the following links: + GDC San Francisco gdc14.launchrock.com + Game Connection Paris gameconnection.launchrock.com + Gamescom14 gamescom2014.launchrock.com
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games are GREAT This year we worked hard with government to get our amazing sector celebrated as part of the government’s global GREAT Campaign and are delighted to have Sackboy, Moshi Monsters and LEGO Gandalf and Frodo as the first images. We shall now be using the new images to promote the UK games industry at major trade events such as gamescom, GDC San Francisco and Game Connection in Paris, and in other print campaigns. The GREAT Campaign was launched last year, coinciding with the Olympics, to promote the UK to overseas markets and celebrate how innovative and creative British businesses are. The promotion of the games industry as part of the GREAT Campaign has come about as a result of Ukie working closely with UK government. And of course thanks to our members for contributing the images to make this happen.
Including these new images will provide a fantastic opportunity for the UK games and interactive entertainment industry to showcase its work to the rest of the world. Working with Ukie at key trade shows is a vital part of the wider support UKTI gives to the creative industries.
Nick Baird UKTI Chief Executive
LEGO Gandalf and Frodo make great pin-ups for the UK games industry. As one of the leading games studios in the world we’re always pleased to tell people of our UK heritage. And of course we’re surrounded by many other amazing British games businesses, all making world-leading content, and hope that the new games images being used in the GREAT campaign make the rest of the world sit up and realise just how amazing the UK games industry is.
Tom Stone, MD TT Games Publishing
Moshi Monsters is a British game made by a British business. We’re therefore delighted that our Moshlings are part of the GREAT Campaign and that we can help promote all that is fantastic about the UK’s games industry.
Michael Acton Smith CEO Mind Candy
We're very proud that our Sackboy is going to be out there as a global ambassador for the UK games industry. It is really wonderful that the work coming out of UK studios has been recognised around the world and Ukie have done a fantastic job in making this happen.
Siobhan Reddy Media Molecule
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Ukie runs a programme of special interest sub-groups. These sub-groups are chaired by Ukie members and give games businesses the chance to discuss key issues that they are facing and work together at finding industry-wide solutions.
Anyone from a Ukie member business can join a sub-group so get in touch with the contacts below if you want to get involved. Digital sub-group Chair, Andy Payne, Chairman, Mastertronic In May 2013 the digital group officially launched the UK charts for digital sales. The project proved the viability of gathering data direct from IP owners but now needs further industry support to ensure it is a long term success. We have led with sales of PC games, but have built a secure infrastructure with our partners ipsos which can scale across all formats. The group has also produced a directory of digital distribution companies and designed a brand identity for PC download as a platform which will be launched in October. Additionally, the group has established itself as a conduit for knowledge sharing and debate and continues to support ukie members as they expand their digital opportunities. Main ukie contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Marcomms sub-group Chair, TBC This new group has been set up to share best practice between the games industryâ€™s marketing and communications community. At its first meeting the group discussed: responses to industry issues and created relevant messaging; how to create PR and marketing advice and events for all Ukie members; and Ukie marketing and communications strategy, messages and processes. It is also the place for Ukie members to discuss any PR or marketing issues that the industry is facing. Main ukie contact email@example.com Developer sub-group Chair, Ella Romanos, CEO, Remode The developer sub-group aims to support all developers within the Ukie membership, in particular the smaller studios. The purpose is to ensure that developers are able to find out what Ukie can do to help them, provide an easy way for developers to make suggestions on things that would be useful and give feedback on available services. This will primarily be done through monthly meetings, which any developers can attend, as well as a mailing list. The developer sub-group is run by developers too, to ensure the information is targeted correctly. Main ukie contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online sub-group Chair, Matt Carroll, Commercial Director, Games, Disney The Ukie online group represents companies and players in the UK who make and play monetisable games and games services accessible by the internet. The online group has focused on two crucial issues in its first year of existence, both of which are vital to protecting the reputation of the games industry as we continue with a variety of business models and direct to consumer relationships. We were already discussing responsible monetisation, but this kicked into another gear when the Office of Fair Trading announced their investigation of ingame purchases. We have helped lead the Ukie response to this, making sure it is guided by the real experiences of games companies. Our other main issue has been online child safety, on which we will be publishing a best practice guide by the end of the year. Both of these are critical tasks, and we need as many companies as we can to get involved. Main ukie contact: email@example.com Insight sub-group Chair, James Duvall, Insights Manager, Warner Brothers One of Ukieâ€™s key services is the provision of market data to support its members' needs. The insight sub-group has tackled the key issues that affect the industry from a data and research perspective, including embarking on a project looking to provide an accurate figure on how much the games industry is worth. The group is ideal for any organisation looking to learn about how other members approach data, listen to guest presentations from research specialists and who wish to set the agenda for what data Ukie should look to provide for its members. Main ukie contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Weâ€™re redesigning our website to make it easier for you to access the products, special deals, discounts and services you need.
The new website will be packed full of new bespoke discount deals based on a groupon approach: the more members we have, the better the discount on essential services and the more help we can secure. Not all of the content and deals will be there at launch, but loads of them will be. Make sure you visit the site to find out more. The kinds of discounts that you’ll be able to access from the new website include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Other new Ukie website features include:
• Trailer creation / video services Software licenses • Audio services • Replication and print discounts • Recruitment fees • Discounts on training courses • Discounts off fees for successful R&D tax claims Free accountancy and tax advice • Free currency audits • Free legal advice from leading UK law firms • Specialistmediationanddisputeresolutionservice • Free subscription to MCV and develop magazine and advertising discounts Discounted entry to over 50 events a year Free tickets distributed to members via prize draw (worth £70k in 2012) Localisation discounts PR discounts and advice
Weekly guest blogs giving opinions and insight from throughout the Ukie membership Directories of useful services Direct access to all Ukie market data and reports Downloadable free Quick Guides Access to all Ukie policy and research papers Logged in networking and private discussion forums Online member applications Events calendar Downloadable, free standard contracts Company Starter kit
If you want to offer a member discount then contact Sam email@example.com
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discover your Ukie membership benefits Full Member A pays Ukie £500 They are a small 3 person band, working in a distributed way, with no office and developers working from across the country. + Knowledge building: They see a Thursday@3 event: on developing with Unity where they hear case studies from success stories, and get to meet Unity people. They see a second event on PR which they attend. Non-member cost: £60 Member cost: £0
+ Discounts: One hour's free legal advice (£400 cost) Two hour's financial advice from consultants (£600) Software license discounts (£100) Non-member cost: £1,100 Member cost: £0
+ Intangible benefits Access to graduates with no recruitment fees, government lobbying, MP studio visits, a voice in shaping consultations, IP support, 1-to-1 introductions, free Quick Guides, networking opportunities.
+ Free space: They use the Ukie meeting rooms and hotdesks twice in a year to meet investors, media, bringing remote workers together Non-member cost: £300 a month (if they join something like Google Campus), £800 if they look on the open market Member cost: £0
Total minimum savings as a member: £1,460
+ Discounts: One hour's free legal advice (£400 cost) which leads them onto a deal with the legal firm at a heavy Ukie discounted rate. Two hours' financial advice on tax credits from consultants (£600) Software license discounts (£200) Non-member cost: £1,200 Member cost :£0
+ Intangible benefits We arrange for their local MP to visit their brand new out-of-London studio which leads to some local press attention and to the MP requesting a follow-up meeting on how she can help them with local funding or intervention. Their name is used as a good example of a rapidly accelerating young company. They realise they have great access to graduates with no recruitment fee and free Quick guides on issues like HR. They realise they can stand for board election which raises their profile as a candidate to other members and to Board members who then request to meet them for potential business talks.
Full Member B pays Ukie £2,500 They are a small-to-medium sized developer or publisher and are rapidly expanding. + Knowledge building: They attend some Thursday@3 events: one on developing for a next gen console, where they hear case studies from success stories and get to meet the right people. They attend a second event on pitching to investors. The third is about finding the right talent, as they need to recruit more staff. Non-member cost: £90 Member cost: £0
+ Free space: They use the Ukie meeting rooms twice in a year to meet some potential investors to whom they were introduced to at one of the Thurs@3 events. They use the meeting room for some private press demos for their upcoming games. Non-member cost: £800-1,200 for 2 days commercial private meeting room hire in central London: Member cost: £0
Total minimum savings as a member: £2,300
Full Member C pays Ukie £45,000+ They are an established publisher. + Discounts: As a member, they get free online weekly and monthly chart track data as they are still very active in the boxed product market. They also pay a third of the non-member rate for standard reports, and they pay a third of the normal price to access GFK ChartTrack special reports and the database. As part of the deal, they get free quarterly summary reports. Non-member cost: £96,000 Member cost: £32,000 + Bespoke research: The company is interested to know what childrens' app habits are compared to boxed products, and what potential there is for them to invest in cross-play across different platforms. They know that Ukie has access to a range of data sources, including GameTrack, and ask Ukie’s research analysts to pull together a presentation that they can use at investor meetings. Non-member cost: £2,000 - £5,000 Member cost: £0
+ R&D As a member, they email ukie@jumpstart. com as they heard that Jumpstart, a Scotland based tax expert, has secured companies millions in Research and Development tax credits, and have a very high success rate for such claims. They own a medium sized development studio, so using their Ukie membership deal, which saves 3% on the fee for such a claim, they make their studio’s R&D tax credit claim through Jumpstart which is successful. HMT tell them they are due £100,000 back through their claim, and they have saved an extra £3,000 on top of that by using the Ukie deal. Non-member cost: £33k Member cost: £30k + Bespoke Training They hear about the Ukie new training courses (piloting Q4 2013) which have been developed with the specific needs of games businesses in mind. They sign up for one of the all-day courses on Digital Discovery. Normally, a Chartered Institute of Marketing course would cost £550 per person for a Digital Marketing course. Ukie members get a discount off the bespoke training, and they benefit from a further 50% off via the Subsidised Short Course SIF Scheme which they heard about thanks to Ukie.
They decide to send 15 from their marketing team on the course, held in the Ukie offices. Non-member cost: £8,250 Member cost: £2,625 + Intangible benefits They attend a private dinner with MPs from the coalition and a follow-up visit to one of their studios with their local MP. This raises their profile and they are able to talk directly to decision makers about tax breaks and other incentives. As a member, they also benefit from direct communication and support from Ukie staff via the free policy digest newsletter, and one to one consultations on other important policy issues. They are already heavily involved in three sub-groups and are active in ongoing conversations about some key regulatory issues that affect the games industry. They also ask Ukie PR to help them with some press around a new release they are preparing for.
Total minimum savings as a member: £75,625
Associate Member D pays Ukie £1,200 They are a games services company who work with developers and publishers alike. They join to meet new people and to be involved in industry developments, as well as do business. + Knowledge building They hear about the Thursday@3 'How to' events at Ukie and attend three of the events to learn and network. They offer to write a Quick Guide based on one of the upcoming sessions which is branded by them and released for free via the Ukie network. They also get a listing in the new Ukie website directory of services, and offer a bespoke package deal with a promo code for Ukie members. Non-member cost: £90 Member cost: £0
+ Discounts Out of the 80 events promoted by Ukie, they attend three of them (industry conferences) over the course of a year to build their network. Non-member cost: £1,800 Member cost: £1,400 + Free space: They use the Ukie meeting rooms and hotdesks three times in a year to meet potential clients and they hold a breakfast press briefing for their new service, which they decide to sponsor for extra brand recognition. Non-member cost: £300 (if they join something like Google Campus), £2,400 if they look on the open market Member cost: £0
+ Expo support They hear about the opportunity to be part of the UK Industry Stand run by Ukie at gamescom. They apply for the UKTI matchfund through Ukie and get to exhibit for a heavily discounted rate. They do £1million worth of potential deals in one day. Non-member cost: £3,000 Member cost: £1,500 + Intangible benefits: They call Sam to have some 1-to1 introductions made, and they participate in several roundtable discussions about regulatory issues that would affect them and their clients.
Total minimum savings as a member: £4,390
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Our members give their visions of the future:
Dan Pinchbeck Creative Director The Chinese Room
Ella Romanos CEO Remode
Fergal Gara VP & MD Sony Computer Entertainment UK & IRELAND
The next twenty months are really big for us, as we’re developing our first console game, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, for Sony Santa Monica. We’re also right on top of releasing our second game, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, which will be really interesting.
For me, the future is all about the tablet. At Remode, the last year has been all about this, with a number of tablet-specific releases and more currently in production. The tablet is the biggest threat to the console we have seen yet. While Facebook and mobile opened up games to new users and provided a lighter alternative to consoles, they didn't offer the same depth of experience, and the console remained the only real option for more core gaming experiences. However, the latest tablet devices are powerful enough to support high end 3D graphics, allowing for production of games with higher budgets and production values. We are seeing more 'core' games and genres coming to tablets that would have traditionally been on console. We will also see games that were browser-focused, such as MMOs, finding their biggest market on tablet in the future.
I am looking forward to seeing a new surge in enthusiasm from gamers as new experiences come to market and create an even bigger passion for gaming among the great UK public.
And we’ve expanded from 6 to 13 people so it’s going to be a whole new challenge as a studio. But those kinds of changes are what keep things interesting, so we’re very excited. I think PS4 is going to be big for lots of indies, and assuming they iron out the kinks in Ouya, and Microsoft sort themselves out a bit, it could actually be a really interesting time for console development, even as the amount of AAA hitting the shelves crunches back. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with crowdfunding, whether Kickstarter bottoms out and what comes after that. A big challenge for small studios has to be the rise of free-to-play, which is only really viable for some types of games unless heavily subsidised by large studio backing. And I know it’s contentious, but we need to reclaim the idea of games having a value beyond buck-per-hour, F2P or app-pricing. It might be good business in the short term, but it’s not necessarily a good thing long term.
Fighting for the concept of value is critically important.
The way gamers use tablets is much closer to the console experience than a mobile - they will use them sitting in their lounge, rather than for that minute or two standing in a queue or waiting for the bus. With the news that iOS 7 will support game controllers, we will not be limited to developing games controlled by touch, and with an open platform that has a huge, established user base, there is a lot to attract developers as well as users. And as more and more developers understand that a tablet gaming experience is very different from mobile, with its own design needs, we will see more and more games created exclusively for the tablet, with companion versions on mobile.
For me, the future is all about the tablet.
Gaming will continue to broaden and be less about one single device as we see the lifestyle shift towards an increasingly connected world. Consumers no longer expect their digital lives to be confined to single devices, or to the home, and we all need to work hard to deliver on the promise of truly integrated experiences, which allow players to continue their gaming adventures on the move, across multiple touch points, or share achievements with the world via social media now and over the coming years. Furthermore, by working hard to nurture fledgling and independent development talent who are or will become the superstars of tomorrow, we can deliver truly original and unique gaming content, which in hand with blockbuster releases, ensures we cater for all tastes and budgets, ultimately growing the market as a whole. For our retail partners, this injection of excitement, consumer awareness and innovation will help revitalise a sector that has borne the brunt of the financial uncertainty and hardship that has loomed over us for so long. By working together to ensure this marriage is harmonious, old and new, physical and digital, we’ll secure the long term health and sustainability of this cutting edge entertainment medium.
Lifestyle shift towards an increasingly connected world.
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Jon Grimes, UK Regional Director, Retail Sales and Marketing, Microsoft Our focus for the future is building on the success of Xbox 360 with the launch in November of Xbox One, the ultimate all-in-one games and entertainment system for the livingroom of the 21st century. It will usher in a new generation of games and entertainment – blockbuster games, innovative titles from indie developers, enhancements to the controller, a new enhanced Kinect and SmartGlass, as well as unique TV and entertainment content and Skype built-in. By harnessing the power of the new Kinect sensor and the cloud, creators of games and entertainment large and small will be able to build truly new generation experiences for our customers. It’s a hugely exciting time for the games industry – one of the most anticipated in years - not just with the launch of new consoles, but also with the proliferation of gaming on all devices: mobiles, tablets, and PCs. Gaming remains the leading usage category across the majority of devices: number one on console, number one on PC, number one on tablet, and third on phones behind talking and social media. Xbox beyond the console will grow and evolve – with Xbox Games, Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Xbox SmartGlass. Microsoft Studios will continue to deliver world-class gaming and entertainment content across our ecosystem, while Xbox Entertainment Studios will develop and produce compelling interactive TV content for our audiences, starting with an original Halo live-action television series executive produced by Steven Spielberg.
Andy Payne Chairman, Mastertronic
As technology and retail change at an ever-increasing speed, we have one ambition that remains the same: to attract the very best talent in the industry, people who care about and understand consumers' changing needs and expectations. The UK’s interactive entertainment business is a dynamic and creative industry that promises huge benefits and opportunities – something that we should all feel deeply proud of.
It’s a hugely exciting time for the games industry.
Some believe that there is only the present and the future and the past just do not exist. For me past, present and future are all important in understanding specifically where the games industry is headed and how one can have a proper go, so to speak. Let’s look at some historically factual statements first. More great games are being made by more great games developers than ever before. The prices people pay for games are coming down as well as going up. More original IPs are being made and are at levels not seen since the 80’s. Games are more accessible than they have ever been. More people are playing games than ever before on more screens than ever before. Traditional publishers and retailers are no longer the exclusive route to players in a digital world. So really the future is now. If you make games, then make great ones. Make them with passion for an audience you understand and make sure you ask your fans to help you make those games better for everyone. Do that and you will have fun and earn a good living, and who knows what may happen after that eh? Games are fun. If they are not, then they ain’t games. Above all have fun.
Traditional publishers and retailers are no longer the exclusive route to players in a digital world.
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