Raising the game for the gaming industry
- The Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) at the University of Surrey hosted G3 Futures Conference for the UK’s leading gaming sector at their world leading 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC)
- The UK gaming industry overtook the movie industry in 2007 and is one of the sectors that has enjoyed year-on-year growth ever since despite global economic uncertainties
- Guildford is home to the largest cluster of video games companies in the UK with over 50 games studios base
Some of the biggest names in the gaming industry came to the University of Surrey to attend the annual summer G3 Futures Conference on Wednesday 29 June.
G3 unites Guildford’s world leading studios, artists, developers and sector-related businesses under a single roof, to promote the Guildford games scene and to showcase the University’s own teaching and research strengths in the creative industries. The event was run in collaboration with UKIE – the UK’s trade body for Games, the University of Surrey’s Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) and the South East technology law specialist Charles Russell Speechlys and attracts around 150 attendees each year.
Gaming is big business – it surprises many to learn that global revenue from gaming overtook the movie industry in 2007, and it is one of the few sectors that has enjoyed year on year growth. Guildford is home to the largest cluster of video games companies in the UK with over fifty games studios based there, including world-wide names – EA, Criterion, Ubisoft, EPIC, and Media Molecule – regularly turning out international chart-toppers such as FIFA, LittleBigPlanet, Burnout and Fable that many gamers will recognise world over.
Dr John Collomosse, a leading academic in Computer Vision at the University’s Centre for Vision for Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) leading the G3 activity at Surrey commented “G3 is a fantastic opportunity to forge further links between the University and the local Games sector. The University is heavily invested in the creative industries, through degree programmes such as the Digital Media Arts, and its cutting edge research in, 3D immersive spatial audio and performance capture – all of which were showcased at this year’s G3 event.”
The G3 2016 featured keynote speeches from UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist, Ian Baverstock of ChilledMouse, and Will Beckett of NetEase who spoke about the Chinese market. Panel sessions focused on the local infrastructure supporting the games sector, with input from HSBC, RMS, Charles Russell Speechlys and Xero on finance, intellectual property, and government incentives such as R&D tax credits that exist to retain the UK’s world lead in this exciting sector. There was also the opportunity for members of the Game community to discuss at the industry panel about pressing issues and their experience in the market with insight tips for other delegates.
Professor Adrian Hilton, Director of the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP and Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering said, “G3 is a great initiative to bring together Guildford’s gaming industry and the University to support collaboration and growth of an important sector of the local economy. The level of participation at the second G3 event demonstrates the enthusiasm from the games industry for this forum.”
Nick Hurley, partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, commented: “Our second G3 Futures event has been a real success as it has pulled in more indie developers and people from the Industry who make the event relevant and authentic – a number of delegates told me how energised they felt by the G3 conference. Keeping the creative and developer focus in the Guildford area is critical for the South East’s continued success in the technology sphere so we will continue to put all our efforts into supporting this important and vibrant community as it cements its reputation on a world stage”.
The G3 Event was organised by the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing at the University of Surrey, UKIE and Charles Russell Speechlys. All three organisations are committed to supporting the local gaming industry which helps Guildford maintain its reputation as a major technology and games hub, often referred to as ‘the Hollywood of the games industry.’