Ahead of its Games Summit this Friday, TIGA, the trade association for the UK video game industry has called for more support for startups and a greater focus from developers on core business skills.
In 2014, TIGA is sharpening its focus even more on delivering the expertise, environment and experience that will have the maximum possible positive impact on the modern games industry.
TIGA’s own research shows more than 50% of UK games businesses are less than four years old, so whatever helps startups will be of maximum long-term benefit for the whole industry.
This is a focus and strategy TIGA has in common with the Games Summit headline sponsor, Microsoft, and silver sponsor, Kingston Smith.
Anand Krishnan, General Manager, Developer and Platform Group, Microsoft Ltd, comments:
“The startup led nature of the UK development scene has been a key driver for many of our recent initiatives. Microsoft has always been supportive of tech startups, so investing in a healthy UK games ecosystem from the grass roots upwards, is a natural thing for us.
“Examples of these initiatives include the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Whitechapel, the Microsoft and Creative England Green Shoots initiative and at a global level, the BizSpark programme while more than 200 developers are already creating games using dev kits provided by the ID@Xbox programme.
“Of course we want developers to create games for our platforms, but it’s also about the bigger picture. We need to help games businesses move from a position of surviving to thriving, if we are going to have great UK studios making games for our platforms in the long term.”
Richard Heap, partner, Kingston Smith technology & media division, added:
“With any creative industry, and indeed with any creative person, there will always be a preference for focusing on the product, the design, or the idea. Which is great, that’s what makes games makers and the games industry such a fascinating and rewarding place to be.
“But right now, we are in an environment where a lot of startups competing for funds and they won’t get a second chance if things go awry. So skills such as how to plan a business model, how to map out and forecast your revenue and cost streams, your cashflows, evaluating which markets and platforms to prioritise, these aren’t nice-to-haves any more. It’s also the kind of work you want to have done before you meet potential investors in the first place.
“For start up developers in the UK today, it’s business planning and the capability of making intelligent financially informed decisions that will make the biggest difference to their future. There’s no shortcut to getting over 20 year’s worth of business wisdom, but I’m hoping to share some useful and effective tips that attendees can apply to keep their business in the black.”
Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA, commented:
“When we speak to our members we hear that, first and foremost, the biggest challenge indie devs face is business survival and the bottom line – funding and cash flow, followed by discoverability.
“At TIGA, we are seeing more and more evidence that a focus on startups, access to finance and improving the core business skills of developers will create the best return for the industry as a whole.
“If you’re a developer and are looking for practical advice and support to help grow your studio, we can help. In addition to the Games Summit this Friday, we have upcoming events in Leamington Spa, Sheffield and Edinburgh. We will be focusing on opening the door to finance and getting our members in front of investors.
“TIGA is dedicated to giving UK developers everything they need to be as good at running a business as they are at making games.”