21 January 2019, London – Today Ukie launched 30 Years of Play, a major campaign for 2019 marking the trade body’s 30th birthday year, making it the oldest games trade body in the world. The campaign celebrates the past, present and future of the UK’s games and interactive entertainment sector through a year long calendar of content, events and activities.
The campaign will tell the stories of the UK games industry, from its early roots, through the 1980s when Ukie (then ELSPA) was created, to the present day.
It will reveal some hidden stories and create a home for previously unseen archival materials revealing the past few decades of the political environment for games, as well house key events celebrating the major achievements of the sector and the people who have made it.
The 30 Years of Play campaign will include:
- A dedicated microsite – 30yearsofplay.uk – hosting content detailing the history and stories of our sector, as well as information about events and other campaign news.
- A podcast series that explores the stories behind leading UK made video games – such as Rome: Total War, Football Manager, Monument Valley, Fable and more – and the wider critical or cultural impact they had.
- Key events throughout the year, including an event to highlight best-selling games in the UK over the last three decades, a gala dinner to celebrate Ukie’s birthday and appoint a new generation of video game ambassadors at the Westminster games day.
- Opportunities for industry partners to contribute content, events and activities through an official partnership scheme.
- Creating a digital archive for important interactive entertainment documentation to help preserve the history of our genre.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, says: “The 30 Years of Play campaign is an opportunity for the industry to come together and tell the stories of the positive impact people and games have had on our economy, on our culture, on lives, and on society.
As the oldest games trade body in the world, we also want to dig in our own archives – three decades of publications, government reports, correspondence – to see what has changed and how far we have come as a responsible, creative, innovative and self-regulating industry. We would like to have as much of the UK sector – companies and individuals – to join in and share their stories too.”
Noirin Carmody, COO Revolution Software and Chair of the Ukie Board of directors added: “Although this campaign is timed to coincide with Ukie’s 30th birthday, its aim is to reflect how our thriving industry has succeeded because of decades of hard work from thousands of talented, passionate individuals. From the pioneers of the 1980s through to the current generation driving the sector forward today, we want to shine a spotlight on the bright and brilliant people who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the success of our sector.
And in doing so, we want to bring that creativity and passion to a new and diverse generation, driving our sector to ever greater economic and cultural heights.”
30 years of play
The 30 Years of Play campaign aims to celebrate the past, present and future of the UK Interactive Entertainment sector by telling the story of our sector.
Focusing on the 30 years between the foundation of ELSPA and the present day, we’ll talk about how the industry emerged from its informal roots in the 1980s, fought to become an established industry through the 1990s and 2000s and how it has become a globally influential cultural force today.
By telling the stories of the people who helped build the industry, unearthing (and providing a home for) the documents and sources that showed how the sector evolved and identifying the games and businesses that defined our industry, 30 Years of Play aims to quantify the foundations of our sector and use it to encourage the next generation of diverse, representative and inspirational creators.
About UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie)
Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment) is the only trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry. A not-for-profit, it represents businesses of all sizes from small start-ups to large multinational developers, publishers and service companies, working across online, mobile apps, consoles, PC, esports, VR and AR.
Ukie aims to support, grow and promote member businesses and the wider UK games and interactive entertainment industry by optimising the economic, cultural, political and social environment needed for businesses to thrive.
Ukie works closely with the sector to influence government and decision makers, lobbying successfully for the 2014 Video Games Tax Relief, the UK Games Fund, and the Next Gen Skills campaign which resulted in a new Computer Science Curriculum. Ukie makes connections for businesses and help them access the opportunities a digital economy offers, via a successful International Trade programme, running UK Games Industry stands at the biggest international industry events.
It promotes the industry by working with the media to raise awareness of the sector’s positive cultural and economic contribution, as well as the societal benefits of games. Ukie runs askaboutgames.com, where families can learn about safe and sensible online practices, parental controls and age ratings.
Ukie’s skills work serves to increase inclusion and diversity, advocating a STEAM approach to education. Initiatives include the Digital Schoolhouse (DSH), Video Games Ambassadors (VGAs), a Student Membership scheme, and a professional development programme.
Ukie commissioned the Blueprint for Growth report in 2015, an independent review of the UK games industry with recommendations for decision makers in Parliament for how the industry can grow.
In 2016 Ukie partnered with Film London to deliver Games London, a ground breaking new three-year programme to promote the UK as the games capital of the world, the focal point of which is the annual London Games Festival.
Linked in: Ukie