Advisory Board

The BGI’s Advisory Board consists of the following stakeholders from across the sector:


Malath Abbas, Biome Collective
Malath Abbas is a game designer, artist and creative producer working on experimental and meaningful games. Malath is establishing Scotland’s first game collective and co-working space Biome Collective, a diverse, inclusive melting pot of technology, art and culture for people who want to create, collaborate and explore games, digital art and technology. Games include the BAFTA Scotland nominated Killbox, an online game and interactive installation that critically explores the nature of drone warfare, its complexities and consequences, and Garden, a beautiful and mindful music VR experience currently in development. Malath serves as vice chair of IGDA Scotland and is the founder of Arcadia Festival which explores and celebrates independent game making.
Korina Abbott, Kinetic Atom
Korina Abbott, went from a 10-year long career in AAA game publishing (Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft) to freelance marketing consultancy in 2016. She subsequently founded Kinetic Atom, a video game marketing agency, in 2017 with the aim to help independent developers and publishers bring their games to market.
Shahid Ahmad
In his 37th year in the video games industry, Shahid has come full circle back to his roots as a game developer, founding Ultimatum Games and specialising in VR. He podcasts on “Remaster” at Relay FM, mentors developers for PlayStation Iberia and Creative England, is on the board of Double 11, the steering committee for Games London and is a MOBO Trustee. Shahid has been named one of Games Industry International’s Top 10 Persons of the Year and 100 Top Influencers in the British Games Industry, Develop’s 25 People that Changed Games, one of MCV’s Brit List 100 and received Develop’s Publishing Hero award for his team’s role in opening PlayStation up to developers and for commissioning over 100 titles, including No Man’s Sky, Hellblade and Velocity 2X.
Katherine Bidwell
Katherine is the co-founder and producer at State of Play Games. State of Play makes lovingly crafted games and animations. Established in 2008, State of Play’s work has won a number of international awards including a BAFTA for Artistic Achievement for its handmade puzzle adventure game Lumino City and an Apple Design Award for its iOS game INKS. State of Play also made the puzzle game KAMI, winner of Mac App Store Best of 2013, and Headspin: Storybook for iOS platforms, one of Apple’s ‘Best iPad Apps of 2010’.
Carl Cavers
Carl is the CEO of Sumo Group plc. A co-founder of Sumo Digital in 2003, which followed a successful career with Gremlin Interactive and Infogrames, the business quickly became a multi-project, multi-genre solution provider, developing award winning titles for every gaming platform. Having steered the business through a trade sale to Foundation 9 in 2007, Carl led an MBO with NorthEdge Capital in 2014, followed by a secondary MBO backed by Perwyn LLP in 2016 and the acquisition of multi award winning Atomhawk, a visual design company, in June 2017.  Sumo Group plc floated on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM in December 2017.  Working in partnership with some of the world’s leading videogames publishers, including SEGA, Microsoft and Sony, the company has become an award winning, independent provider of creative and development services to the AAA games and entertainment industries.  The Group now has studios in Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Vancouver and Pune (India) and employs over 500 people.  Carl received TIGA’s coveted Most Outstanding Individual Award in 2015 (TIGA is the trade association representing the video games industry) and he holds an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.
 
Iain Dodgeon
Iain works at global charitable foundation, Wellcome. A former medical doctor and producer with over fifteen years’ experience with the entertainment industries, he has led the charity’s work in broadcast, film and games. He pioneered its work with the games industry, supporting the creation of many multi-award winning games engaging audiences with ideas in health, science and research, including Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and David O’Reilly’s Everything. A champion of cross-industry ideas exchange, he has worked with industry partners to create a number of initiatives for creative collaboration, including The Big Data VR Challenge and Developing Beyond with Epic Games. Prior to Wellcome he worked at companies including Endemol, BBC and STV.
 
Paul Gardner
Paul is a partner at Wiggin LLP, a law firm focusing exclusively on media, technology and intellectual property. An early adopter of the Atari 2600, Paul specialises in commercial transactions and regulatory issues relating to the games industry.
Katie Goode
Katie is owner and creative director of Cornish game studio, Triangular Pixels. She has worked for studios great and small since 2008 and on a wide range of platforms and has been at the forefront of Virtual reality and Augmented Reality since 2012. Katie has a unique approach to both games design and business, leading her award-winning studio to their recent successes. She has a passion for getting the best user experience for all players, and is always sharing what she and Triangular Pixels has learnt among developers all around the world.
Karen Hedger, AIM
A creative industries education specialist with extensive experience of curriculum and qualification design and development, teaching, learning, and assessment, Karen has a specialist interest in the games industry. As consultant for the NextGen Skills Academy, she facilitated the Industry design of the AIM Awards L3 Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills and is working closely with esports industry stakeholders on the first national qualification for FE students. Karen is currently Creative Industries Manager for AIM Awards, leading their development as a specialist End Point Assessment Organisation for the Creative Industries Apprenticeship Standards. Beyond the day job, Karen is a storyteller of traditional, and not so traditional, tales and this is at the heart of all that she does.
Ian Hetherington
Ian is a co-founder of WRLD3D and serves as its Chairman. He served as Chairman of Real Time Worlds and Evolution Studios. Ian has been involved in the video game industry since 1982. He founded Psygnosis Limited and served as its Managing Director from 1985 to 1998, which became one of the most successful UK based publishers. Psygnosis was sold to Sony in 1993 and he was the Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe from 1994 to 1997, where he was instrumental in the design and implementation of the hardware and software for Sony’s new Playstation console, and oversaw the development of the European launch catalogue.  Ian also served as Chairman of Evolution Studios.
Melissa Jo Knox, Rare
Melissa Knox is a Senior Producer at Rare Ltd. Previously she worked at Blazing Griffin and Reloaded Productions, managing the development of PC and mobile titles such as Murderous Pursuits, APB: Reloaded, and the BAFTA award-winning Distant Star: Revenant Fleet. Melissa is an active member of the UK games industry and was featured in Develop’s 30 Under 30 for 2017. She gives talks to primary school children, university students, and industry peers. She reviews grant applications for the UK Games Fund and judges competitions like the BAFTA Awards and Dare to be Digital. Volunteering as a Video Game Ambassador, she prepares people of all ages for careers in the creative industries by encouraging the study of STEM subjects and raising awareness of game development career paths. She also holds a postgraduate degree in Strategic PR & Communications Management from Stirling University.
 
Tanya Laird
Tanya has been at the forefront of emerging creative technology spanning games, film, TV, comics, music, immersive theatre, Transmedia VR, AR and AI. She is the creator of the the VR Writers Room;  the co-organiser for the VR & AR focused meetup group “Augmenting Reality”, Immersive Technology Ambassador for ESL UK and co-chair of the Immerse UK content sub group. She is also a former Trustee for both the World Youth Organisation and UN Influx, the winner of a Women in Games Award for her contributions to the games industry and the vice chair of BAME in Games.
 
Philip Oliver (GameDragons)
Philip was the co-founder and CEO of Blitz Games, Radiant Worlds, then ran Rebellion’s Warwick studio until February 2019, when he set up GamesDragons, a games business consultancy focusing on helping games companies scale up, advising investors on potential investments and building better links between games companies with educators. Together with his twin brother Andrew Oliver, they rose to fame in the 1980s as ‘The Oliver Twins’ when they developed several hugely successful franchises, including the ‘Dizzy’ adventures and the ‘Simulator’ series on 8 bits computers. Over 35 Years in the games industry. Founder member of TIGA, founder of Made in Creative UK and awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Coventry University in 2008.
 
Rebellion
One of the following Rebellion representatives attends as a voting member.
Jason Kingsley, OBE (Rebellion)
Jason is the co-founder, Creative Director and CEO of the Rebellion group of companies. One of Europe’s largest independent game developers and publishers. Rebellion also publishes comics (2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine) and graphic novels, and also novels under the Solaris and Abaddon Books imprints. Rebellion owns a significant library of comics and other Intellectual property, and is branching out into TV and feature film production.

Chris Kingsley, OBE (Rebellion)
Chris is Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of multi-award-winning Rebellion, one of the top independent video game developer-publishers in Europe. Rebellion was founded in 1992 and has grown to over 300 talented full-time staff in three UK studios in Oxford, Runcorn and Leamington Spa. Over the years, using its own in-house engine and tools technology, Rebellion has created over 30 worldwide Number One hit games including Sniper Elite, Zombie Army Trilogy, Aliens Vs Predator and The Simpsons Game. Rebellion has also released a Number One movie, Dredd 3D. Rebellion owns and publishes the UK’s number one sci-fi comic 2000 AD featuring Judge Dredd, and also publishes books through its Abaddon and Solaris imprints. Chris is TIGA Director of Education and Professional Development, and is the Chair of Creative Skillset’s Video Games Council.
Timea Tabori
Timea is an Engine Programmer at Rockstar North and the Chair of IGDA Scotland, an organisation serving the game development community across Scotland. Timea is the Lead Ambassador and National Coordinator for Women in Games in Scotland. She is passionate about bringing diversity and new voices to the games industry, building a supportive community and advocating for nuanced and critical discourse about games and the culture around them.
 
Chris White (Chair of Policy Committee)
Chris is Director of the Institute for Industrial Strategy at Kings College London. Chris served as the Member of Parliament for Warwick and Leamington between 2010 and 2017.  His Private Member’s Bill, now the Public Services (Social Value) Act, received Royal Assent in March 2012. Chris was a member of the International Development and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committees.  He chaired a number of APPGs including those on Manufacturing, Social Enterprise and Video Games. Chris lives in Warwick, and still plays an active role in his community, from being the President of the Warwickshire College Group to having recently being appointed to the Board of Art in the Park, a local cultural festival.  His review of the Social Value Act, ‘Our Money, Our Future’, was published at the end of last year by Social Enterprise UK.