Guildford Games Industry Unites at G3 Futures Event
Over 150 games developers and industry specialists attended the second G3 Futures Event, aimed at galvanising the Guildford-based games industry, often described as ‘the Hollywood of the games industry. ’
Organised by The University of Surrey, UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment trade body) and South East technology law specialist Charles Russell Speechlys, the purpose of the event was to provide an opportunity for local gaming companies to network, share ideas and learn about the latest innovations and industry issues from key note speakers and panellists.
Dr Jo Twist, OBE – CEO of Ukie - delivered the first of two key note speeches. In an engaging presentation, she highlighted the increasing importance of collaboration post Brexit and of maintaining access to over 500 million customers across Europe. She highlighted her mission to enhance the profile of the games industry, positioning it alongside film, theatre and other cultural mediums.
The second key note speech was given by Ian Baverstock, CEO, Chilled Mouse who talked about ‘what makes gaming great in Guildford. ’ He concluded that the cluster of people in successful gaming companies in Guildford has attracted other developers over the years, resulting in a thriving community which continues to go from strength to strength. He urged the audience not to be concerned that Guildford does not have the same reputation for being a creative hub as areas such as Brighton. “It’s a great place to live and we make great games!”
A recurring theme throughout the evening, was the high cost of office space which can be prohibitive to start-up businesses in the sector. Despite these concerns, there was an overwhelming sense of pride about being based in Guildford, creating games with global appeal and also benefiting from the resources available at the University of Surrey and Surrey Research Park. The importance of more experienced companies helping local start-ups was also high on the agenda for the evening and was acknowledged as being key to ensuring the gaming industry continues to thrive in Guildford.
After the event,. Nick Hurley, partner at Charles Russell Speechlys and co-host at the G3 Futures event summed up the evening, ““Our second G3 Futures event was a real success as it pulled in even more indie developers and people from the industry, making the event relevant and authentic. A number of delegates told me how energised they felt by the G3 conference. Keeping the creative and developer focus in the Guildford area is critical for the South East’s continued success in the technology sphere so we will continue to put all our efforts into supporting this important and vibrant community as it cements its reputation on a world stage”.
Co-host Dr John Collomosse, an academic in the University of Surrey’s Centre for Vision for Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) added, “G3 is a fantastic opportunity to forge further links between the University and local games sector. The University is heavily invested in the creative industries, through degree programmes such as the Digital Media Arts, and its research in 5G mobile technology, spatial audio, and performance capture – all of which were showcased at this evening’s event.” Dr Jo Twist commented, “G3 Futures is a brilliant opportunity to bring people together and share the knowledge. What’s really good about being in a cluster with other like-minded people around is that you can share talent, share ideas, share technology and work together to support each other.
The organisers of G3 Futures have created a website www.guildford-games.com as a central communications hub for the local gaming community. Local developers and gaming specialists can register on the site, post job opportunities, join in forums and learn about future events.