Today we are announcing the dates for London Games Festival 2017, plus a quick update on all the progress Games London has made over the last six months.
LGF 2017 will take place from 30 March to 9 April 2017. We’re expecting to reach at least 50,000 with the event next year after a breakthrough start in April 2016 that saw 38,000 attend the first London Games Festival.
The first London Games Festival took place in April 2016 as part of the Games London three-year initiative delivered jointly by Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).
The 10-day celebration in April 2016 welcomed people to 30 different events across 20 different venues and culminated in a games-themed street art commission across multiple London landmarks, from a pub in Walthamstow to the Leicester Square cinema district.
2017’s festival will open with EGX Rezzed at Tobacco Dock (30 March to 1 April 2017), with other events confirmed for the schedule including the British Academy Games Awards (6 April 2017) and the return of Now Play This to Somerset House. Further announcements to come will detail activity around eSports, the Festival Fringe and a range of summits and lectures for professionals.
Also returning is the Games Finance Market (4 April to 6 April 2017), an instrumental part of the Games London strategy. The Games Finance Market connects games developers and interactive content creators with investors and funders. In 2017 the event will double in size to welcome 60 investable businesses meeting 60 international investors.
As you probably know, Games London isn’t just about the London Games Festival, but a broader three-year initiative delivered jointly by Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).
With backing from the Mayor of London, with funding worth £1.2m from the London Enterprise Panel, the programme is designed to promote the UK’s games sector via things like the Festival, and also attract £35m of investment to the capital and create 280 jobs.
We’re hoping to make London the games capital of the world, underlining the cultural significance of interactive entertainment and also drawing in investors and new business partners. So as well as things like the Finance Market we recently hosted a delegation of West Coast investors to London, with plans for trade delegations to shows such as Slush later in the year.
The good news here is that our plan is already working: Games London’s programme supporting games businesses has already brought in over £8.5m in potential investment to the capital.
I think you’ll agree that’s fantastic news given the focus on maintaining London and the UK’s international reputation. It also chimes nicely with the #LondonIsOpen campaign underway from the Mayor of London which highlights the capital’s status as a global hub.
The Mayor of London himself, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is a global destination for culture and creativity, and the interactive entertainment sector is playing an increasingly important part in this.
“Games London focuses on harnessing the city’s talent, with the ultimate aim of making London the world capital for video games. It’s fantastic to see the festival expanding in scope, reach and ambition, and connecting London-based talent with overseas investment partners – further proof that our city is open for business.”
Michael French, Senior Games Executive, Games London