Presented by the U.K.’s Department for International Trade
The U.K. is bringing its best game to GDC this year, which is really saying something. Don’t believe me? Stop by the U.K. Industry booth and meet some of these amazing games developers.
From March 19 to 23, the U.K. contingent of 42 remarkable and diverse companies will be at GDC (#1023 South Hall in San Francisco’s Moscone Center). More than 15 of the U.K.’s finest game developers, including Atomicom, Tower Studios, and BillyGoat Entertainment, as well as supply chain and support companies (such as Delta DNA and the TrailerFarm) that provide cutting-edge sound design, tech tools, content, hyper-realistic facial animation, marketing, data analysis and more are in the delegation. The companies hail from all parts of the U.K. — Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the great cities of the north of England and, of course, London. These companies, large and small, have one thing in common: a passion for innovation, which will be on display at demos and panels at GDC.
“The U.K.’s games industry is one of the fastest growing, most cutting-edge in the world, home to 2,255 games companies in 2017,” says Ross Allen, Director, the U.K’s Department for International Trade (DIT), North America.
“The government is committed to supporting the continued growth of games development in the U.K. industry. For example, in 2017 the Video Game Tax Relief supported 212 productions with a total budget of more than $385M.
And under the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund we will accelerate development in VR and AR with more than $45M to help creative companies and technology businesses innovate in immersive tech.”
U.K. game developers take their innovation seriously, spending 20 percent of turnover on R&D to keep their edge. Here’s a preview of the innovation on show at the U.K. Industry stand:
London-based Improbable enables developers to create ground-breaking massive simulations and virtual world games on its pioneering open platform, SpatialOS. Improbable’s innovation attracted a partnership with Google in 2016 and a $500 million investment from SoftBank in 2017. The company will demo Mavericks, the latest massive simulation/virtual world developed on SpatialOS with CryEngine; Mavericks showcases in-depth gameplay, including advanced AI and tracking.
In the AR/VR space, Cambridge-based Virtual Arts, a leading augmented, virtual, and mixed reality tech and immersive content developer, will be showing their tech platform for the first time at GDC 2018, and Welsh company Dragon FiAR will demonstrate integrating games into the latest VR/AR equipment, from Google Cardboard to HTC Vive. Investment in AR/VR continues to grow steadily in the U.K.
JAGEX brings both record-breaking history and future-leading innovation to GDC. In its 17 years, the company’s flagship MMORPG, RuneScape, has grown into a $750m franchise with more than 250m player accounts, dedicated fan conventions, and a vibrant community. In a first, JAGEX is taking RuneScape (both current and Old School versions) to mobile with fully interoperable play
London-based Green Man Gaming, an online video game retailer that sells its catalogue of more than 5,200 games in 198 countries, has won big business at GDC in the last few years. Since going international last summer, more than 90 percent of the company’s revenue is generated outside the U.K. GMG also recently launched a highly praised innovative sim sandbox game, Stormworks: Build and Rescue. Stormworks, all about creating and rescuing, is just one example of the diversity of game content created by U.K. companies.
Northern Ireland’s critically acclaimed independent development studio Blackstaff Games, also demonstrates content diversity offered in the U.K. The company, a benefactor of the U.K. government’s Video Games Tax Relief, will be demoing their city-building sim game set in a world of walking, talking buildings.
Manchester-based Cubic Motion, the biggest service provider of facial animation, has won awards and some very big projects, such as Call of Duty and Wolfenstein II, thanks to their remarkable state-of-the-art vision technology. The company will display the latest generation of their proprietary tech, high fidelity real-time digital animation.
Wicked Sick’s Craig Fletcher has been a leader in the rapidly growing esports arena since the late 90s. The U.K. market for esports is expected to balloon to 8 million people by 2019, winning more than $10m consumer ticket sales and more than $15m digital advertising by 2021. Fletcher, a founder of Game’s Multiplay division, is now a sought-after independent consultant, advisor, and business angel who will bring his specialist expertise to GDC.
Independent Wales-based Tiny Rebel Games will bring their anticipated spring release, Dr. Who Infinity, a role-playing puzzle game for mobile and PC.
“U.K. games studios are recognised as world leaders. Our unique combination of technical skills, innovative design, and creativity will be on display on the U.K. industry booth at GDC. Located at the epicentre of the South Hall expo space, the U.K. booth will be a magnet for publishers, investors, and developers.” says Jo Twist CEO of Ukie.
The UK’s Department for International Tradepresented by (DIT) supports trade and investment between US and UK businesses. DIT’s Creative & Media team provide specialized, tailored sector support. To learn more about the UK gaming industry or to set up a meeting, please contact Cindy Fabian, Vice Consul, Creative & Media, DIT San Francisco or visit greatforcollaboration.com or https://ukie.org.uk/
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