UK games industry take over Westminster

On Tuesday 3 November, Ukie are hosting the first ever Westminster Games Industry Day in Parliament, in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Video Games, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Google, EA and King. It is the first day of its kind, and will see games industry leaders enter the palace of Westminster to meet, educate and lobby MPs and Peers towards the needs of the UK games industry.

                                           

The day will involve a programme of activity designed to showcase the global success of the UK games industry and influence decision makers in Parliament to the needs of the growing sector. MPs and industry professionals will also see the launch of the Blueprint for Growth Report, commissioned by Ukie, a major policy document which sets out recommendations for how government can act to help the already world leading UK industry continue to grow. The interventions outlined in the report include calls to action regarding public funding, regional growth, talent, taxes, and innovation in the sector. 

Ukie’s Westminster Games Industry Day’s series of events will focus on different issues that face the sector. The day opens with a breakfast roundtable on digital skills and talent needs for the games industry, chaired by Chris White MP, leader of the APPG for Video Games. This closed session will address the need to invest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths) subjects and higher level apprenticeships in order to secure future growth in games and broader technology sectors.

A Lunchtime Innovation Showcase will follow, where MPs and Peers will be invited to a drop-in session at Portcullis House, where top names in UK games will be showcasing innovation and diversity in products created across the country. Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Bossa, Media Molecule, Roll7, State of Play Games, Code Kingdoms and games charity SpecialEffect will be demonstrating some of the most innovative games and technology from the UK industry.

The afternoon will include a seminar on what the Digital Single Market means for UK creative tech businesses. The session will be chaired by BIS Select Committee Chair Iain Wright MP, and hear from IP Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe, and will discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by the implementation of the Digital Single Market in Europe.

The day culminates with Ukie’s annual Westminster Winter Warmer Reception at Millbank Tower, where Minister of State for Culture and Digital Economy Ed Vaizey will deliver a keynote speech to an audience of MPs, Ukie members and key stakeholders. This evening reception will also see the launch of the Blueprint for Growth Report.

The day is the first of its kind, and comes following the results of a Ukie’s recent member survey, which revealed that Ukie lobbying and educating government was the top priority for the trade body’s membership.

Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, said:

Our recent membership survey showed that lobbying and educating parliament and opinion formers is a top priority for our members, and so we are delighted to be able to bring games to Westminster. The UK is already a world leader in making games and it is important that the decision makers in parliament are aware of our creativity, innovation and successes, as well as being educated to the needs of our industry to help us to continue grow and scale up. We’re also excited to launch the Blueprint report, which sets out key recommendations for how MPs can support us and help us to become the best place in the world to make and sell games.

Roy Stackhouse, Vice President and General Manager, Activision Blizzard UK & Ireland, said:

The UK is a world leader in the development of games – it has a highly skilled and growing talent pool, is recognized as a powerful force in the creative industries, and is a leading interactive entertainment market in its own right. Therefore, it is with great pleasure and excitement that Activision are partnering with and supporting Ukie’s Westminster Games Day, and the launch of the Ukie Blueprint for Growth for the UK gaming industry.

Rob Cooper, Managing Director, Ubisoft UK, said:

We are delighted to be partnering with Ukie on the Westminster Games Industry Day.  This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the innovation on offer in the UK games industry to Parliament and to highlight the significant contribution our UK studios make to our global business.

Chris White, MP for Warwick and Leamington, and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary group on Video Games, added:

 “I am delighted to be able to support the Ukie Westminster Games Day on 3rd November, with seminars on important topic areas and a showcase event for MPs and Peers organised.  As Chair of the APPG on Video Games, I have worked closely with Ukie for a number of years and know how hard the organisation works to represent the interests of the sector.  I look forward to a productive and informative debate about the future direction of the video games industry.”