Developing a Blueprint for games in Scotland

Developing a Blueprint for games in Scotland with Chris Law MP

As part of our Blueprint for Growth work with decision-makers across the UK, Ukie’s public affairs team is working with industry and government figures in Holyrood, shaping the new Scottish Parliament following the elections in May.

Our Dundee roundtable held on 1 February was chaired by Chris Law (pictured, MP for Dundee West and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Video Games) and included Prof. Gregor White (Abertay University); Colin MacDonald (Channel 4); Mal Abbath (Dundee GAMES Collective); Douglas Hare (Outplay Entertainment); Paul Farley (TAG Games); Alan Dobson (Dundee City Council) and David Martin (Skills Development Scotland).

We discussed a series strategic policy recommendations in the Scottish context in order that the Scottish games sector can continue to thrive, innovate and grow, providing high-skilled, high-value jobs in Scotland.  Measures in the Ukie presentation included:

  1. Improved measurement, mapping and statistical analysis of the sector and the effects of existing and proposed interventions
  2. Better investment in and development of sector-specific understanding
  3. Greater co-ordination between the relevant UK and Scottish agencies
  4. Encouraging the Scottish sector to take advantage of UK-focused incentives as well as Scottish-only schemes
  5. Continuing to expand the use of games techniques and technology in education, both to deliver education generally and to enhance the development of STEAM and other games-related skills
  6. Ensuring that necessary talent can migrate to and remain in Scotland
  7. Further promoting games as a cultural asset, capitalising on Visit Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

The roundtable formed part of a series of discussions over two days with Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.  A full report including the outcome of discussions will be published later this year taking on board:

  • How a complete view of games industry interventions can be presented and clarified across the sector, recognising the often different needs of start-up, micro and established, larger enterprises.
  • Developing an industry picture and recommendations around talent development in Scotland, including curriculum reform and teacher training from primary school onwards; apprenticeships and qualifications and professional development.
  • A plan for the industry involving a clear-sighted alliance between companies and the Scottish system, recognising its difference and added value in a UK context.
  • Greater clarity from industry and public agencies on industry structures and representation.

Ukie’s discussions reemphasised how Scotland's games sector is a vital part of the UK landscape. With expertise, particularly in the ever-expanding mobile sector; great university and college courses; and a young and enthusiastic workforce, there is an excellent opportunity for the Scottish Government to really make the most of the support it can offer to this growing and successful industry.