◾ In-person visitor numbers surpass 58,000
◾ Digital showcases reach hundreds of thousands more
◾ Events catered to every taste, professional and player alike, from B2B tentpole the Games Finance Market to public-facing delights like Now Play This and W.A.S.D
The 8th London Games Festival drew to a close last week after a breakthrough run of 12 days across the city.
At least 58,000 people attended free and ticketed in-person events in a schedule that started on the evening of Tuesday 28 March at Coutts Bank and culminated on Sunday 9 April at Somerset House. But an extensive set of online promotions, digital showcases and in-game events reached hundreds of thousands more over the course of LGF23.
Participation from professional and B2B audiences increased year on year, with 3,500 developers, creators, publishers and investors attending in person for conferences, networking and pitch meetings – double the amount in 2022. On-the-ground involvement from international participants represented 40+ countries and 800 different global games businesses.
London Games Festival is supported by the Mayor of London. It is delivered by Games London, an initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).
Festival partners include a number of key industry businesses including associate supporters Taylor Wessing, Coutts, Outright Games and The Story Mob, plus festival partners Tiny Build, Rocksteady, Jagex, PlayStation, Wizards of the Coast, and Making Moves.
Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said: “This year’s London Games Festival was a huge success, reaching hundreds of thousands of people. London is a leading destination for the games industry in Europe and the Festival showcased the capital’s creativity and innovation to a wide international audience, as well as inspiring the next generation of developers. The Mayor and I are really proud to support this dynamic industry and we’re already looking forward to next year’s festival, as we work towards building a better, more prosperous London for everyone.”
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “We were delighted to welcome an even larger industry audience to the London Games Festival this year, showcasing the breadth of the capital’s creative talent and cementing London’s status as a games leader. The festival continues to attract investment to the city with events like the Games Finance Market generating over £12m each year for participants and attracting an international audience from over 40 countries. Massive thanks go to the Festival team for delivering such a brilliant edition and to our fantastic range of funders, especially of course the Mayor of London and our sponsor partners who made all this possible. We look forward to building on this success and are excited to announce the dates of the 2024 London Games Festival in the coming months.”
Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie said: “Ukie is delighted to have supported the 2023 London Games Festival, and this year’s festival once again demonstrated the very best that the games sector has to offer culturally and economically. With an audience of thousands, LGF has inspired a generation of new developers, creators and players, but also cemented the games industry as a force for good, feeding London’s exciting, and diverse culture, as well as a hub of creativity and innovation for the wider sector.”
Standout results from LGF 2023 include:
- 20 events took place. Games London’s core activity plus partner events including Now Play This, WASD and many more saw over 58,000 in-person visitors. Key London landmarks served as the backdrop to major events, including the Tower of London, Somerset House and Trafalgar Square.
- 3,500+ of those were professional visitors, with international participation from 40 countries and 800 different global games businesses.
- Games London’s flagship event Games Finance Market returned to pre-covid levels of involvement with over 160 in-person delegates as games creators met investors and funders for pitches, with nearly 1,000 meetings recorded over two days
- Thousands more players took part in online promotions run across a number of games including Pokemon Go, plus a suite of in-game offers across some of the biggest Apple iOS mobile apps and games such as Roblox, Golf Clash, 8 Ball Pool and Ultimate Sackboy.
- Meanwhile PC games platform Steam was host to a concurrent LGF event, spearheaded by Fireshine Games, that encouraged viewers to check out London-made games on sale and upcoming Official Selection games to wishlist or demo. The event attracted over 8m impressions and over 1.5m unique views.
- In total, 373 games were represented over the course of 12 days at LGF23’s variety of in-person events, online showcases and retail promotions
Dates for London Games Festival 2024 will be announced shortly.