Scottish Parliament calls for national strategy for games
The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee of the Scottish Parliament have today published a report, "The Economic impact of the film, TV and video games industries", which calls for a strategic review of support for the games industry in Scotland, as Ukie had previously proposed.
This report is the result of an inquiry held by the Committee in late 2014/early 2015. Ukie made a written submission to that inquiry, with proposals for action by the Scottish Government including:
- A strategic review of Scottish public sector support for games industry;
- Improving the collection and communication of investor-friendly data on games companies;
- A coordinated UK-wide trade and investment programme for the games sector, developed in partnership with public agencies;
- Strengthening the talent pipeline to meet the increased demand for skills that UK Video Games Tax Relief will cause;
- An industry education programme to help make companies investor ready and aware of different finance routes
It's great to see that today's report from the Committee takes up several of these recommendations. Notably, the Committee call for:
- A national strategy to deliver a sustainable Scottish video games industry, to be co-ordinated by Creative Scotland bringing together industry, academia and public bodies;
- Contributing to this national strategy, a Creative Scotland review of the video games sector to understand the financial and business support it requires;
- A further review by Creative Scotland of the public sector support currently available to the video games industry, with a view to rationalising this support and making it easier for games companies to access, regardless of size and stage of development;
- The Scottish Government to commission an analysis of the economic impact, including direct and indirect employment, generated by the video games industry to assist it in identifying its growth potential;
- Creative Scotland work with industry to identify skills gaps, promote job opportunities to young people, and link education courses more closely with the industry;
- Scottish Development International consult with the games industry to determine how best to support it to move into new and emerging international markets;
- Enterprise agencies liaise with the games industry to establish more effective methods of communicating the finance options available.
This is a framework for the delivery of greatly improved support to the Scottish games industry that matches many of the needs we have highlighted. We think this report is a fantastic step forward and are looking forward to working with the Scottish (and UK) authorities to use this as the starting point for some real, tangible improvements in the years to come.
Ukie's goal is to make the UK the best place in the world to make and sell games. Scotland is a hugely important part of this ambition, with important clusters in Edinburgh and Dundee. This report represents a real opportunity to move closer to achieving this goal.