As a nation we love games or sports or both. We are world class at making them. Perhaps not playing them, in fact, you could argue that one of our greatest exports was and is games. Which then other countries take to heart and outshine us at – at every conceivable occasion. However, the spirit of sport and the point of games is something which is very, very British! The spirit of fair play embodied in games like cricket helped us gain respect across continents and generations. And whether this fair play is still seen throughout sports (with countless examples of where it isn’t – Luiz Suarez biting someone for example) we can safely say if it wasn’t for the UK we wouldn’t have a truly mind bogglingly number of sports. Football, rugby, cricket, baseball, tennis, boxing, ice hockey (apparently) and I could go on (for those of you so minded – click here for a list of more than 20) But how is this relevant for the UK now?
I think we have a great opportunity, to do something amazing, to get behind the UK mobile games industry and video games industries and support the 9,000 or so highly skilled development staff that the industry employs. You see just like in days of old, where the UK invented games, UK game developers are export focused. 95 per cent of UK game businesses export at least some of their games/services to overseas markets. The industry, unlike the really rather horrid and incestuous finance and banking sector, is NOT London focused, 80 per cent of the workers are employed outside of London. And it’s not that they are not bright – it’s not the manufacturer of yesteryear in dark satanic mills. 80 per cent of the workforce in game studios such as Dojit Games, Climax, Jagex, Kuju Entertainment, Rebellion and Ubisoft Reflections are qualified to degree level or above. As an industry as well, unlike many others which are falling by the way, the UK game development sector is R&D intensive. Two fifths of UK game developers have a budget dedicated to R&D. UK game developers spend on average 20 per cent of turnover on R&D. I wonder if the same can be said for construction. And to finish with – the eco icing on the economic educational cake, the video games sector is also low carbon in output.Most of the work in games development involves design on computers, the packaging in games is minimal (with mobile games development this is actually nothing at all) whilst boxed products are relatively light for videos games suppliers to manufacture and to transport. In the future, video games will become even more low carbon in nature as the industry moves towards digital distribution like in mobile games development right now.
So we here at dojit games think that mobile gaming is very important for the UK. Not just because it is creative and cool, but as it brings in needed revenue to the UK, has massive export potential – with 65% of our mobile games at dojit being downloaded in China! And as it follows a long traditional of games creation in this great country we call Great Britain. We make games for our world, exported with pride, and perhaps next time with a little bit of British culture too. Maybe Home Bear, our mobile game for children, should wear union jack pants? With the world now a global market place – isn’t it time Britain started exporting more?
Can you make a quintessentially British Game? If so what would it be?