Ukie unveils new vision to support, grow and promote the UK games industry

Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist today revealed Ukie’s new strategy designed to benefit all UK games businesses - including a stronger focus on developers and start-ups.
Ukie has today outlined how, as a 21st Century trade association, it will take a cradle to grave approach to help to create the right policy and economic ecosystem for interactive entertainment businesses to flourish in the UK. The new strategy focusses on the real needs of the different and emerging parts of the industry and those who are seeking to disrupt it in different ways.
Ukie will support, grow and promote three key games business audiences via three distinct Programmes of activity.
The Industry Transition Programme will be aimed at established businesses, such as publishers, media entertainment companies and others looking to transition into new marketplaces and business models. The key part of this will be more research, analysis and insight of trends, marketplaces and consumer behaviour.
The Growth Ready Programme is for new businesses and start-ups, developers, indies and new entertainment businesses who are redefining the industry. Key to this focus will be tangible practical support delivered via a new Ukie website, more focused networking events, and knowledge sharing around access to new ways of financing businesses.
The Talent Development Programme will focus activity on young talent, school aged children, school leavers, graduates and postgraduates who are looking to enter the industry and need support to do so. Key to this programme activity will be taking on the sixteen industry related recommendations from the Next Gen Skills report to build closer links and support, from industry to education and vice versa. We will also be introducing Student membership - offering students from games industry courses a simple package of benefits including discounts on events and software and networking opportunities with established businesses.
Ukie’s refreshed strategy builds on its existing successes and the services that it has started to offer since its rebranding as Ukie in 2010. These existing services include representing the industry politically, protecting games businesses' intellectual property, providing access to unique market data and promoting the industry to consumers.
Ukie will be outlining what games developers can gain from membership in a Developers Manifesto, created in consultation with Ukie's, Ian Livingstone chaired, Developer Group.
Amongst the new Ukie services announced for developers and new interactive entertainment players are:

  • Accessing expert advice: ask us about mentoring, business models, accessing money and how to get your games discovered
  • Media promotion: highlighting your business as a case study for media stories promoting the games and interactive entertainment industry in the UK, as well as spotlighting your business as a case study for policy makers
  • Providing facts, stats and reports to help you understand where and how to sell your games
  • Helping your business link up with international partners
  • Running campaigns that really benefit games businesses – from getting children to code, to tax breaks and calling for government to look at innovative new ideas such as crowd funding

Ukie has supported the development community since it was formed in September 2010. They now represent many UK development studios: from promising start-ups like RIE Studios, rising stars such as Six to Start, Mediatonic and Mind Candy, as well as established bigger studios like Creative Assembly and TT Games.

Launching the new strategy, Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist, said: “This strategy is a no brainer. Every new company I have spoken to, whether they're a new start-up or an established business, have the same needs. Insight, research, practical guidance, networking events are key. The new Ukie Programmes are all designed around the three key words: support, grow and promote and this mantra will be applied to everything we do as part of this fast changing and always evolving industry.
“We’ve already had a great year, particularly in having tax production credits introduced and getting a real breakthrough with computer science. Both have been major achievements for the industry and a sign of what we can achieve in the future.
“We recognised the need to better represent developers when we rebranded from Elspa. I want this strategy to be a cradle to grave approach to our talent and business pipeline and I want to prove to micro businesses and developers in particular that we are here for them. We’ve made it easy and more affordable to join Ukie as a start up and we have some fantastic new developer members already recognising that and joining.
“The industry is changing fast with more and more indie micro developers emerging, and new market entrants in the form of new platforms holders, new publisher routes, and new retail models. Ukie as a modern, agile, fresh trade body will be always listening and always responding with services and support to help companies navigate the terrain.”