Games London festival to promote the UK's game development industry

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, is backing a new creative initiative to make London the world's game development capital and recognise Great Britain's contribution to the gaming industry. 

Boris Johnson, appearing in Minecraft form via the promotional video below, announced the London games festival which intends to promote computer game development in London and celebrate interactive entertainment. Games London, which will take place between 1-10 April, is described as an exciting new celebration of the art, culture and business of video games. 

The festival will be backed by a 1.2m investment from game industry bodies Ukie and Film London and will be spread across many different locations across the city. Taking part in this celebration of the computer game industry will be indie games convention, Rezzed and the annual Bafta Video Game Awards which will both take place at the Tobacco Dock during the two weeks.

"London is already a star player when it comes to games and interactive entertainment, but international competition is fierce and we need to ensure our city can compete with our global gaming rivals," said Boris Johnson. "Through Games London we are supercharging an increasingly important sector for our economy, one that exemplifies the capital's reputation for creativity and innovation" 

Promising to rival the likes of Germany's gaming event, Gamescom and Paris Games Week, London is stepping up it's game (sorry) by featuring 15 events and 10 venues to celebrate all things computer games and entertainment. The initiative will also feature networking events for computer game developers, programmers and designers to meet investors and get involved in workshops and training schemes to improve and hone their skills.

“The festival’s events will examine the cutting edge like VR through to how museums and cultural institutions engage with our great games heritage. We want to change perceptions around games, and tell the world about this vibrant art form and shout more about how it entertains – and how much of that comes from London.” said Andy Payne, Ukie chairman.

The computer game development scene is rather prominent in London and the South East already, taking up 54% of the development share in the UK. Other popular areas of the UK's gaming scene include Dundee, Guildford, Edinburgh and Derby but the Ukie believes that the festival will increase awareness of development throughout the UK, rather than just London itself.

“The UK is home to some of the best and most experienced games talent in the world,” said Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie. “Games London will celebrate and shift perceptions of games as a vital cultural medium, an important art form, and a key cultural industry.”

If you're interested in becoming involved in computer game development then our article can help guide you to get started in the industry.