Games London welcomed four top US games investors to the capital earlier this month, giving them a guided tour of our world-leading studios and introducing them to some of the city’s best developers. The four delegates were:
• LK Shelley, Managing Partner at Affiniti Ventures
• Amit Pradhan, Director of JetSynthesys and General Partner at Jet Ventures
• Shaun Ahora, Managing Director of Make in LA
• Rob Vickery, Co-Founder of Stage Venture Partners
To showcase the best of what the UK has to offer, the investors were given tours of London-based games studios including Dream Reality Interactive, Flavourworks, NaturalMotion Games, The Secret Police and Spirit AI.
Impressed by London’s creative offer, Rob Vickery said: “The talent’s really good. The talent here is better than I see in Southern California from a coding perspective.” Amit Pradhan agreed, saying “the pedigree of the people we’ve met has been phenomenal. They’ve worked on some serious projects.”
The delegates noted a difference in diversity when comparing the US and UK game scenes. Praising the way talent is brought through in the UK, LK Shelley said “I feel like the games developers backgrounds are more diverse; they come from creative industries like film, and it’s exciting to see the convergence between games, film and other art forms. That type of creativity makes the output much more interesting, entertaining and engaging than a purely technical background.”
Part of the trip involved pitches from UK games companies including A Brave Plan Ltd, Antstream, Feature Games and Project M. The investors were excited by the quality of the projects and the insight the experience gave them into the ways that games are made in the UK, whether developed in individual, co-working or larger-scale spaces.
“We’ve had an amazing time,” said Amit Pradhan. “We’ve been surprised and amazed at the cost structures here in London, aside from the tax incentives – even the base cost is much less than we would pay in California.”
All the delegates had identified potential investment opportunities by the time they left, heading back to the States with a strong idea of the UK’s unique creative offer.
Signs for the UK games economy look promising, with the US delegates observing that recent trends in foreign investment indicate a healthy, thriving economy. Looking ahead at the growing market trends in games, interactive entertainment, new platforms and engagement figures, we’re excited to see how it all plays out.