July 11th 2017, London, United Kingdom – Trade body announce impressive membership growth with new members including games giants Jagex and Riot Games.
Ukie, the trade body for games and interactive entertainment in the UK, are pleased to announce a huge increase in applications to join the network, resulting in membership reaching 365 games companies.
The trade body has seen an explosive 400% growth in membership since 2011, way above the 13% increase in games companies in the UK over the same period.
Ukie is a not-for-profit representing businesses of all sizes from small start-ups to large multinational developers, publishers, and service companies, working across console, mobile, PC, esports, VR, AR and artificial intelligence. The trade body 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.
Recent new members include industry leading developer and publisher, Jagex. Home to the iconic MMORPGs RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, Jagex is undertaking a major rebrand following investment from Fu Kong Interactive Entertainment with ambitious plans for its live titles and new projects. Jagex and Ukie have worked closely together for many years, with the Cambridge-based company taking an active role in our International Trade programme, including activity at China Joy, gamescom and GDC.
Phil Mansell, COO and acting CEO of Jagex, said, “Jagex has enjoyed a great relationship with Ukie for many years and participated in its event initiatives at China Joy and Gamescom and now we’re proud to make a commitment to support Ukie’s work representing the industry by becoming members.
“Jagex continues to be a success story for the UK’s game development and publishing sectors. From an entrepreneurial start up in 2000 to being united with FuKong Interactive Entertainment in 2016, Jagex today is the western arm of a global games group. The commercial performance of our RuneScape portfolio has never been stronger and we are pursuing further growth through both investment opportunities and by expanding our offerings with additional titles across multiple platforms. We are also extending our development and publishing partnerships for PC and mobile and ready to talk to studios across the Ukie network as we look to invest in and commission new titles.”
Ukie’s membership is also diversifying in line with growing games industry trends. As well as a growing list of VR, AR and AI companies, there has also been an increase in the number of esports companies joining the network, including League of Legends giants, Riot Games. Riot will take a leading role in Ukie’s esports sub group, which will shape and develop the trade body’s esports activity in the coming 12 months, and previously collectively produced the 2016 esports Whitepaper, ‘Growing the UK as an esports hub’.
Mark Cox, UK Head of Publishing at Riot Games, said, "With Riot Games developing a publishing and esports organisation in the UK we felt that we should take an active role in helping shape and guide the UK esports scene. It's vital we support the players, professional organisations and pro players across all franchises allowing this amazing sport and community to thrive, ultimately putting the UK on the map as a powerhouse in esports. At Riot we are committed to helping Ukie and its members learn and develop, as this ultimately benefits all UK gamers."
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said, “It has never been more important for the games industry to be speaking with one united, collective voice. We are delighted to welcome two such influential companies as Jagex and Riot Games to our membership and look forward to working closely with them in the months ahead. Ukie continues its ambitious plan to make the UK the best place in the world to develop and publish interactive entertainment and welcomes all games businesses looking to work with us to help meet this ambition”.
You can see a full list of Ukie’s 365-strong membership here.
To discuss membership options for Ukie, speak to our Head of Membership, Sam.
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.
Established in 2001, Jagex today stands as a key game developer and publisher and is the home to the iconic online role-playing game, RuneScape. RuneScape has welcomed over 250 million players to its world and more than two million of them play every month, while millions more watch avidly through social channels. In addition to RuneScape, Jagex has developed new RuneScape-branded games as it enters additional genres, including the authentically vintage edition, Old School RuneScape. Jagex employs over 320 people at its Cambridge headquarters. In 2016 Jagex became part of Fukong Interactive Entertainment, a global games group publicly listed in China. Career information can be found at www.jagex.com.