Guildford Games Festival, supported by Enterprise M3 LEP, is going global in 2020 as it returns for a second year on Friday November 13 and Saturday November 14 to mark the industry's continued success in the region.
The Festival, which is also sponsored by the UK's games industry trade body UKIE and age ratings advisory body AskAboutGames as well as Guildford Borough Council, will be held online and expects to reach an even wider international audience through video game distribution network Steam, furthering the borough's reputation as 'the Hollywood of video games'.
The 2020 line-up features an industry expert helpline and careers guidance, plus video reports on the prestige and success of the industry in Guildford at a time when the digital games sector continues to thrive in the region.
Sam Read, Games Sector Specialist at Enterprise M3 LEP said:
Enterprise M3 LEP is delighted to support the delivery of this year's Guildford Games Festival. I hope that the virtual event will be able to reach and engage with an enormous audience. It will also be a great opportunity for the LEP to promote the local industry as a high-growth sector critical to the area's general economic recovery and renewal.
The LEP is working closely with the Department for International Trade to raise awareness of Guildford's games industry internationally. The area was recently awarded 'High Potential Opportunity' status in recognition of these strengths and collaboration with Guildford Borough Council to deliver Guildford Games Festival in 2020 significantly benefits this work. Jobs site Adzuna recently listed Guildford as one of the top two places in the country for jobs in digital and tech, where its job openings now outnumber jobseekers. This further proves the value that our digital economy is bringing to the region, serving as encouragement for people considering this sector as a future career opportunity."
Some of the industry's biggest and most innovative developers are based in Guildford, including Criterion, DPS Games, EA Games, Hello Games, Media Molecule and Supermassive.
Acting Leader of Guildford Borough Council, Cllr Joss Bigmore said:
We are proud to be key supporters of Guildford Games Festival for a second year and to help the industry thrive in our borough, which is rightly known as the Hollywood of video games in the UK. We continue to give our full backing to this dynamic sector full of creative and talented people, which remains a growth area at a time when so many other industries are struggling.
"The video games industry is worth almost $90 billion globally, and is expected to surpass £7 billion in the UK alone next year. We are proud of the major role that Guildford plays in that worldwide success. Our key corporate priorities are Innovation, Place-Making and Community - and the Guildford Games Festival ticks all the boxes, putting our beautiful green and historic borough and county town on the modern cutting-edge map. Since 1987, Guildford's games industry has created many world-first innovations and legendary titles amongst the 4000 games which have been released here. We have 70 video game companies based here, employing over 1800 people.
Full details of the Festival will be announced via the Guildford.Games website in mid-October.
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