BGI Founder Rick Gibson to step down; charity to seek new CEO

Sheffield 0900 15/03/2022: The BGI’s founder and CEO, Rick Gibson, has announced he is departing the charity in July 2022. The charity is advertising for a new CEO based in Sheffield and is keen for candidates from all backgrounds to apply via its website.

Rick founded the charity in 2019 with Sir Ian Livingstone and was appointed its CEO by trustees, but he began campaigning for its creation in late 2017, winning support for the campaign from hundreds of games, finance, arts and non-profit organisations, as well as over 10,000 members of the public. Rick was appointed CEO of the National Videogame Foundation in 2018, which took over the BGI campaign, moving the National Videogame Arcade from Nottingham to Sheffield and rebranding it as the National Videogame Museum.

The Museum attracted 35,000 visitors in 2019 before the pandemic struck. Rick created the emergency appeal which raised over £200,000 from the games industry and public. He led the charity to win a substantial Cultural Recovery Fund grant as well as winning funding from the Jingle Jam for its award-winning workshop programme. He also created the Games Education Summit and the charity’s FutureLearn course, co-founded Games Careers Week and led the charity’s fundraising for projects from major arts funders such as Arts Council England, Art Fund, Esmee Fairbairn Trust, Ufi Voctech and BBC Children in Need.

Rick said: “After 4.5 years of growth, surviving the pandemic, and developing the charity’s new social mission, I’ve decided to step away from BGI. I’m very proud of what we have achieved with the new charity, especially tripling the museum’s income in just 3 years during Covid. It is vital that the games industry’s important contributions to our national culture are recognised in a national museum and preserved in a nationally significant Collection. I am filled with gratitude and pride about what the team has accomplished both in the museum in Sheffield but also in our award-winning learning and vocational programmes. I am so grateful to the trustees and all the charity’s supporters, especially to Andy Payne OBE for his unflinching support. The charity has a bright future in Sheffield”.

A games industry veteran of over 20 years, Rick created the campaign to lobby for Video Games Tax Relief in 2007 with Sir Ian Livingstone, building the economic and cultural case for the legislation over 5 years. VGTR has since paid out over £624m to 1,640 titles developed by British games studios.

Chair of the BGI’s Trustee Board Claire Boissiere said: “When I joined the BGI as a trustee during its formation in 2019, I was instantly blown away by Rick’s passion and drive for positively impacting the games industry. Rick has steered the charity and the National Videogame Museum through immensely difficult times, launched a wide range of award-winning educational and vocational programmes and been a champion for diversity. I’ll miss working alongside Rick but I’m proud to continue the charity’s new social mission, which wouldn’t have been possible without him. The BGI and National Videogame Museum will always be grateful for the hard work and persistent dedication that Rick has exhibited over the past 4.5 years and I wish him all the best in the future.”

President of the BGI and Trustee Board Member Sir Ian Livingstone said: “When Rick first suggested the idea of the BGI to me and invited me to join him, I had no hesitation in saying yes. Without Rick’s vision, energy, determination and expertise, the BGI and the National Videogame Museum would never have happened. Rick’s contribution to society’s understanding and recognition of the cultural impact and educational value of video games cannot be underestimated. We owe him our sincere thanks and gratitude.”

About the BGI

The BGI is a national voice for videogame culture, heritage and education which empowers people from all backgrounds, especially women, BAME, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds, to:

  • Play through accessible and creative experiences that engage and inspire
  • Collaborate through inclusive communities, research, discussions and partnerships
  • Learn through informal, formal and vocational learning

Our charity celebrates and interrogates games culture for everyone through the National Videogame Museum, our Collection, our research into games preservation and our festivals such as GameCity. We run award-winning formal and informal learning programmes such as Pixelheads in person and online for schools and families. We run vocational courses and the Games Education Summit and we co-founded and organise the Games Careers Week Festival for young people, their parents and educators. For more details about the BGI’s mission and programmes, please visit:

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