Mayor of London Boris Johnson took to the digital realm of Minecraft to announce a new initiative aimed at promoting video games, and their development in the London. The initiative has £1.2 million of funding.
Games London is the first mayoral strategy to aid game development, and in the video Mr Johnson explains that it is a three year project, expected to raise £35m in new revenue for game studios. He also comments that UK spending on video games comes to £4bn.That is a lot of FIFA you guys are playing!
Games London has many different strands to it, including a business-to-business networking event, and masterclasses but perhaps the most exciting is the London Games Festival - a week long festival in the capital. This will run from the 1 to 10th of April. Events will be held at the BFI, Somerset House and other great buildings across the capital.
The BAFTA Games Awards will be part of this festival, as will EXG Rezzed.
The initiative is a joint venture between Mayor's London Enterprise Panel, Ukie (the UK's games industry trade body) and Film London. It is taking advantage of the Video Games Tax Relief, which was announced in 2014 by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.
The London Mayor said via statement:
"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. Through Games London we are supercharging an increasingly important sector for our economy, one that exemplifies the capital's reputation for creativity and innovation."
The video below is the official announcement made by Boris Johnson, faithfully recreated in Minecraft. It is definitely worth a watch - if only to hear Boris speak about video games like Football Manager as if the concept is completely alien to him. Did you know that Football Manager was made in the UK? I didn't!
Photo by Gacabo